Kazakhstan's Air Astana says sudden reduction of flights to S.Korea "inappropriate"

Kazakhstan's Air Astana says sudden reduction of flights to S.Korea "inappropriate"

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.27

By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:

Kazakhstan’s Air Astana airline company has asked the interdepartmental commission to reconsider the decision to reduce flights to Seoul to one per week, a representative of the company told Trend.

On Feb. 26, 2020 Interdepartmental Commission on Preventing Emergence and Spread of Coronavirus in Kazakhstan made the decision to decrease the number of flights implemented between Kazakhstan and South Korea.

The Air Astana company’s flights were decreased from five to one times a week on the Almaty – Seoul route, and from two to one times a week on Nur-Sultan – Seoul route; Asiana Airlines company’s flights on the Almaty – Seoul route will be decreased from two to one times a week.

The company said that the commission did not take into consideration the fact that some 17,000 have as of now booked flights.

“Some 2,182 people were planning to leave for Seoul and 2,254 people were to return from Seoul in March alone. We do not see it possible to carry passengers that would usually be transported via seven flights by just two,” the company said.

The company also added that the majority of the passengers visit South Korea to undergo medical treatment.

“Due to the fact that the majority of the passengers are Kazakh citizens who visit South Korea for medical treatment, including those sick with cancer, we consider sudden reduce of flights to be inappropriate,” the company said.

In this regard the company addressed the commission to reconsider the decision on flights reduce and allow the airline company to make changes in schedule themselves in order to avoid uncertainness and panic among the passengers.

“We would also like to note that other countries did not suspend flights to South Korea or have reduced the number of flights by over 20 percent,” the company said.

On Feb. 25, 2020, Chairman of Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Committee Talgat Lastayev said that Kazakhstan is looking into limiting flights to countries where coronavirus is spreading.

The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019. The number of people killed by the disease is nearing 3,000. Over 82,000 people have been confirmed as infected.

Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019. The symptoms include cough, headache, fatigue, fever, aching and difficulty breathing. It is primarily spread through airborne contact or contact with contaminated objects.

Chinese health authorities say that the majority of the people who have died were either elderly or had underlying health problems.

Aside from Mainland China, the cases of coronavirus spreading have also been confirmed in South Korea, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Iran, Thailand, the US, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, Germany, Vietnam, the UAE, the UK, France, Macau, Canada, Philippines, India, Russia, Spain, Lebanon, Nepal, Cambodia, Israel, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Egypt and Sri Lanka.

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Follow the author on twitter: @nargiz_sadikh

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