Korean Air to cut flights to Japan as diplomatic row hits demand

Ongoing trade dispute affects demand for Korean Air flights to Japan, after Tokyo imposes tech export ban on Seoul.

     Korean Air is the latest company to feel the effect of a worsening trade war between South Korea and Japan [File: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg]
    Korean Air is the latest company to feel the effect of a worsening trade war between South Korea and Japan [File: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg]

    Korean Air Lines will suspend its flights between the South Korean city of Busan and Japan's Sapporo from September 3 because of falling demand amid a worsening diplomatic and economic rowbetween the two neighbours.

    Last month, Japan tightened controls of exports of hi-tech materials to South Korea, in apparent retaliation for a South Korean court ruling over wartime forced labour. Such disputes have prompted a widespread boycott of Japanese products and services, from beer to clothes and travel in South Korea.

    Korean Air, South Korea's top carrier, is also considering cutting the number of flights between the two countries or shifting to smaller aircraft from mid-August, a spokesman said.

    Koreans were the second-biggest travellers to Japan only after China, accounting for 24.2 percent of visits last year, according to data from Japan National Tourism Organisation.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency