Airlines resume flights to South Korea

·2 min read

LOCAL airlines are now resuming their flights to South Korea has opened up to foreign tourists, issuing short-term visas for the first time in two years.

South Korea, a popular destination among Filipinos, has also lifted most of the Covid-restrictions for residents.

Budget-carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) will operate twice-weekly flights from Seoul (Incheon) to Cebu -- every Thursday and Sunday starting Friday, June 3, 2022.

Flight 5J 129 is estimated to depart Seoul International Airport at 6:55 p.m. and will arrive at Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 10:50 p.m. Philippine local time.

CEB also flies to Manila from Seoul every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and will be flying daily starting June 1, the airline said.

“We look forward to welcoming South Koreans and their families to plan their travels to warm Cebu and rediscover what it has to offer -- from diving spots to sandbars, to canyoneering activities, to feasting on lechon and mangoes. This route resumption also enables fellow Filipinos working or residing in Seoul to conveniently fly direct to Cebu,” said CEB chief commercial officer Xander Lao.

Philippine Airlines, on the other hand, has restored its daily flights between Manila and Seoul, South Korea since June 1. The airline will also be mounting daily flights between Cebu and Seoul soon.

Foreign tourists heading to South Korea can apply for C-3 visas, which will allow them to enter the country on group or individual tours, visit relatives, or do business. Tourists with visas can stay in the country for up to 90 days.

E-visa for foreigners with excellent skills, foreign patients, and group tourists, which were suspended since April 6, 2020 will also resume issuance. E-visa provides a simpler way to receive a visa and can be applied at Korea Visa Portal.

According to Korea’s Ministry of Justice, the reissuance “will provide the influx of foreign tourists that will boost domestic demands and related industries, which will create jobs and help attract more foreign talents.”

South Koreans topped Central Visayas’ tourist market prior to the pandemic.

The latest available data from the Department of Tourism showed that a total 517,516 foreign tourist arrivals have been recorded in the Philippines from Feb. 10 to May 25, 2022.

A bulk of foreign tourists, totaling 104,589 came from the United States, followed by South Korea with 28,474, and Canada with 24,337.

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