Budget airline Jetstar has been forced to suspend flights to Seoul, amid stronger travel regulations in South Korea implemented by the Australian government.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) would extended their Level 4 “do not travel” ban to people coming from South Korea, with new checks also put in place for those arriving from Italy.
The new levels for South Korea will be equivalent to those passengers arriving from China and Iran, meaning Korean visitors will be banned from 9pm on Thursday.
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Australian citizens and permanent residents returning from South Korea will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days when they return home.
Jetstar, who launched direct flights between the Gold Coast and Seoul in December 2019,
said they would be suspending the service because of coronavirus and the subsequent drop in demand.
“Customers will be offered a range of options including the option to defer their travel dates until March 2021 or a refund if they no longer wish to travel,” a statement from the airline read.
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“Customers who have commenced their outward journey at the time of suspension are asked to contact our customer team to discuss options for a return flight home.”
A spokesperson for Jetstar said the suspension would take place from Sunday, March 8, 2020 and conclude towards the end of June however that period may be increased.
The airline has two more scheduled flights between now and their official suspension date on Sunday, but will make a decision on their Friday, March 6, 2020 flight from the Gold Coast to Seoul, and the return journey on Saturday, March 7, 2020 within the next 24 hours.
Last month, Virgin Australia announced they will pull flight services from Hong Kong, following a review on the “challenging” route and a growing uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak.
The airline said the Hong Kong market had weakened following ongoing civil unrest, and combined with growing uncertainty around the recent coronavirus outbreak, the airline was left with no other choice.