S. Korea to allow three more airports to run 'flights to nowhere'

S. Korea to allow three more airports to run 'flights to nowhere'

SEOUL — South Korea will allow three more airports to run international “flights to nowhere” to help the pandemic-hit airline and duty-free industry ride out the prolonged crisis, the transport ministry said Sunday.

Flights to nowhere start and end at the same airport and offer tax-free sales, while passengers are exempted from mandatory COVID-19 testing and the quarantine process after arrival.

Starting from May, airlines will be allowed to operate international flights without destinations from airports in Gimpo in western Seoul as well as Daegu and Gimhae, both in southeastern Gyeongsang Province, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said.

Currently, only Incheon International Airport, the nation’s main gateway, offers flights to nowhere.

Since Asiana Airlines Inc. offered the nation’s first destination-less flight on Dec. 12, seven airlines have operated 75 flights to nowhere that have attracted about 8,000 passengers, the ministry said.

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