VIENTIANE, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Lao Airlines will suspend flights to South Korea beginning in March after a large number of passengers cancelled their bookings amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
File photo: VCG
Local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted Director of the airline's Commercial Department Noudeng Chanthaphasouk, saying that a flight from Vientiane capital to Seoul on Tuesday did not depart because all the passengers cancelled their reservations.
"We have very few passengers on the Vientiane capital to Seoul flight. We have to fly back to Vientiane empty because many Koreans have stopped travelling overseas since the outbreak of COVID-19," he added.
"Meanwhile, we fly from Vientiane capital to Seoul once daily and have to bear the high cost of flying empty, so we plan to suspend the Vientiane capital-Seoul route from next month," Noudeng said.
"We cannot say when this flight will resume because we will have to wait until the situation in Korea returns to normal," he said.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Lao Airlines suspended almost all flights from Laos to China earlier this month.
Lao Airlines has nine routes to China - from Vientiane capital to Kunming, Guangzhou, Changsha, Chengdu, Changzhou, Shanghai and Wenzhou, and from northern Lao province of Luang Prabang to Jinghong and Changsha. Flights from Vientiane capital and Luang Prabang to Changsha are still operational, according to the report.
"We expect that some routes from Laos to China, including Vientiane capital to Chengdu, will resume next month as we are in informal discussions with the related sectors," Noudeng said.