SEOUL — Airlines operated all night flights to shift tens of thousands of people stranded over the weekend by record snowfalls on the South Korean resort island of Jeju, officials said on Tuesday.
Jeju International Airport, which had been shut down by the weather conditions for nearly three days, was kept open throughout Monday night in an effort to clear the backlog of frustrated travellers.
More than 150 domestic and international flights – carrying more than 30,000 passengers – had taken off from the airport as of 6:00 am Tuesday (2200 GMT Monday), the transport ministry said.
Known as the Hawaii of South Korea for its beaches and usually warm climate, Jeju took the brunt of a week-long cold snap that sent the mercury plunging to record lows across the country.
The holiday destination, which is extremely popular with Chinese as well as domestic tourists, recorded its heaviest snowfall in three decades over the weekend, shuttering the airport for over 40 hours and stranding some 86,000 people.
Around 238 flights with more than 45,000 passengers on board were scheduled to leave Jeju on Tuesday, the transport ministry said. — AFP