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Airlines cautious about resuming US flights over growing protests

(Korean Air)
(Korean Air)

South Korean air carriers that had planned to resume flights to the US this month amid the slow spread of COVID-19 are cautious and taking a “wait and see” approach due to growing protests in the US over the death of an African American man in police custody, according to industry sources Tuesday. 

Protests against the death of George Floyd and police brutality have spread to over 100 cities since last week. 

The country’s flag carrier Korean Air’s flight departing from Los Angeles to Incheon was delayed for 12 hours on May 30, after authorities extended an overnight curfew in California instructing people to avoid all demonstrations. 

A Korean Air official said that to secure safety of passengers and employees, it has revised the departure schedule to daytime, while also reviewing rescheduling the other nighttime flights. 

Asiana Airlines, which has resumed a cargo service to Seattle in 77 days, has been flying a smaller midsized airplane to US routes over the reduced number of passengers with seat occupancy rate at around 30 percent.

Among US destinations that Korean Air and Asiana Airlines have announced to resume operations from June, four cities -- LA, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle – have imposed nighttime curfews.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
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