Gimpo-Haneda Reopens from June 29

Date Jun 24, 2022

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister PARK Bo Gyoon, MCST), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Minister WON Hee-ryong, MOLIT), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minister PARK Jin, MOFA) anounced that an agreement has been reached with the Japanese government to resume international flights between Gimpo and Haneda from June 29 (Wed), unveiling plans to implement campaigns to welcome inbound tourists.

Since launched in 2003, Gimpo-Haneda network has been touted as a popular route connecting Korea and Japan frequented by business travelers. While it was a so-called golden route as the average seat occupancy rate reached as high as 98% during the peak season thanks to the excellent accessibility from airports to the capital cities, the operation has been suspended since March 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Soon after taking office, President YOON Suk Yeol met with the head of Korea-Japan Parliamentarians Union on May 11, where he expressed his will to restore Korea-Japan ties and highlighted the need to resume flights between Gimpo and Haneda as early as possible to facilitate bilateral exchanges between the two countries. Against this backdrop, MOLIT has completed preparation to resume international flights at Gimpo Airport in May and continued close coordination with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan along with Koreas Foreign Affairs authority to restart the Gimpo-Haneda connectivity at the earliest possible opportunity.

As a result, the aviation authorities of Korea and Japan held a video conference on June 21 and reached an agreement to reopen Gimpo-Haneda network beginning from June 29 (Wed), starting with 8 flights per week. Furthermore, the two countries plan to gradually increase the number of flights monitoring the evolving air traffic demand and the readiness of air carriers. In addition, as the visa issuance for short-term stay for tour purposes which has been halted since April 2020 was reinstated from this month, travelers can take Gimpo-Haneda flight to go sightseeing in Korea.

MCST is planning to promote the reinvigoration of inbound tourism by opening hospitality booths for foreign tourists in Gimpo Airport on the back of flight resumption between the capital cities.

Moreover, the Tourism Ministry is scheduled to hold briefings for travel to Korea in major Japanese cities in the latter half this year, while also participating in local tour fairs in Japan to facilitate the restoration of tourism network between Korea and Japan, thereby boosting Korea-bound tour by travelers from Japan and reconstructing the domestic tourism market. 

Minister WON from MOLIT said, Gimpo-Heneda network serves as a significant symbol of bilateral exchanges connecting Seoul and Tokyo. I look forward to the resumed flights on the route acting as a catalyst to revitalize exchanges between Korea and Japan.