Over 580,000 South Koreans expected to go abroad for Lunar New Year

By NNN-Bernama,

Seoul : Over 580,000 people in the county are expected to travel overseas by air during next week’s five-day Lunar New Year holiday, airport officials said Thursday, with carriers reporting near full flight bookings.

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According to an estimate by the Incheon International Airport Corp., 588,902 passengers are expected to go abroad between Feb 1 and Feb 6.

This is 13.9 percent more than last year, when the holiday was only for three days, Yonhap News Agency reported.

This year’s Lunar New Year holiday, which falls on Feb 2-4, is followed by a weekend and can last for nine days for those who can take off the preceding Monday and Tuesday.

The country’s two leading air carriers said 90-100 percent of international tickets have been sold already.

For Korean Air, international flights bound for Southeast Asian countries and Oceania are 99 percent booked and those for China and European countries are 90 percent booked.

Asiana Airlines said its return flights to Seoul from Southeast Asian countries, Japan, China and Oceania on Feb 6, the last day of the holiday, are all sold out.

The number of overseas travelers for the Lunar New Year holiday has been on the rise, increasing from 331,783 in 2006 and 471,619 in 2007 to 516,743 in 2008. The figure dropped to 451,457 in 2009 but rose to 517,242 in 2010.