Korean Air plane
Korean Air planeiStock

Israel's Foreign Ministry and Tourism Ministry on Thursday announced that they have reached understandings with South Korea, and that Korean Air will begin flights to Tel Aviv early next year, Maariv reported.

Korean Air ceased flying to Israel with the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and will restart its flights in January 2023, at a frequency of three flights per week, Maariv added.

In their statement, the ministries said, "South Korea represents an important market for incoming tourism to Israel, among other things because of its large Christian community. Prior to coronavirus, in 2019, around 60,000 tourists from Korea visited Israel. The expectation is that the number of tourists will increase when the route is restarted and begins operating again, among other things, thanks to the actions of the Tourism Ministry representative in Korea, Mrs. Jules Cho, who in recent years worked with the airline energetically to renew the direct flights, as well as thanks to the support of Israel's Ambassador in Korea, Akiva Tor."

Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid) spoke with the Korean Ambassador in Israel, congratulating him on the decision, which will strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

According to Razvozov, "We are continuing to market Israel by means of opening air routes to Israel from new destinations and through many other means. This is how we increase tourism, this is how we lower prices, and this is how we connect Israel to the world. Israel's incoming tourism contributes greatly to the to the economy and contributes to our image, which is no less important. Our goal is to meet the goal that I set: 10 million tourists annually, by the year 2030."

Korean Air has been flying to Israel since 2008, and is the first Asian airline to fly to Ben Gurion airport.