Tourism to Taiwan from S. Korea on steady rise as Korean airlines add routes

Eastar Jet latest company to announce more routes with charter flights to Hualien

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Eastar Jet aircraft at Songshan Airport

Eastar Jet aircraft at Songshan Airport (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Interest in Taiwan among South Korean tourists has continued to grow steadily over the past year, with several airlines boosting their flight offerings between Taiwan and South Korean airports.

Eastar Jet is the latest company to announce more flight routes, with over a dozen charter flights planned over the next month from Incheon and Busan to Taiwan’s Hualian County. Earlier this week, Air Busan also began a series of charter flights between Ulsan and Hualien Airport, located on Taiwan’s east coast.

According to CNA, the charter flights to Hualein from South Korea are organized as part of a subsidy program initiated in 2018 to boost tourism to Eastern Taiwan and make the region more easily accessible for international travelers. The first flight from Air Busan arrived in Hualien on Thursday (Oct. 17) and the first flight from Eastar Jet will arrive Oct. 29.

Eastar Jet and Air Busan, along with the latter’s parent company Asiana Airlines, are also preparing to increase the number of flight routes from Korea to Kaohsiung, according to Flight global. While Taipei remains the main destination for South Korean visitors to Taiwan, data from the past year suggests that other regions of the country are increasing in attractiveness for Korean visitors.

The total flights and seat capacity for air traffic between Incheon and Taipei in 2019 is set to remain about equal with the numbers from 2018, with a slight four percent increase in total seat capacity. However, air traffic data on flights between Incheon and Kaohsiung for 2019 looks set to surpass total flights in 2018 by about 22 percent, reports Flight Global.