Taipei, April 30 (CNA) Direct flights between Taipei International Airport and Gimpo Airport in Seoul were launched on Monday, representing the last milestone of the government's "Golden Aviation Circle in Northeast Asia" policy.
Following the launch of direct flights from Taipei to Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport and to Tokyo's Haneda Airport in 2010, the new Taipei-Gimpo route will enable Taipei to be better connected to major cities in the region, said President Ma Ying-jeou at an inauguration ceremony for the new service.
"The more comprehensive flight network will make it more convenient to conduct trade, tourism and cultural exchanges between Taipei and these cities," Ma said.
The new route is expected to build on the success of the Taipei-Hongqiao and Taipei-Haneda services, which have a seat capacity of more than 80 percent per flight, the president added.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Bureau said it will promote gourmet and cultural tours to attract tourists from South Korea and boost travel exchanges between the two nations.
Tourism Bureau Director-General David Hsieh said he expects the route to attract up to 300,000 travelers from South Korea to Taiwan each year, compared with the current level of about 240,000.
According to bureau statistics, more than 660,000 visits between both sides were recorded last year.
A total of seven Taipei-Gimpo direct flights will be provided by the Taiwan-based China Airlines and EVA Air every week.
Meanwhile, the South Korea-based T'way Airlines and Eastar Jet will also schedule the same amount of direct flights to the airport in Taipei's downtown Songshan District.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)