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Laos to resume flight to Incheon; Czech removes S. Korea from virus-related 'high-risk' country list

Planes are parked on the tarmac at Incheon International Airport on March 17, 2020. (Yonhap)
Planes are parked on the tarmac at Incheon International Airport on March 17, 2020. (Yonhap)

HANOI/BERLIN -- Laos plans to resume commercial flight service to South Korea soon and the Czech Republic has decided to lift a ban on the operation of direct flights to the Northeast Asian nation amid reports of slowing spread of the new coronavirus.

According to South Korea's Embassy in Laos, Lao Airlines, the national airline of the Southeast Asian nation, agreed during recent consultations to operate one flight per week between Vientiane and Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul.

The flight service would be able to begin as early as on April 1, it added.

The airliner suspended its direct flight service to and from Incheon in late February amid concern about the spread of COVID-19.

Travelers have since had to transfer either in Bangkok or the Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The Czech Republic has made a similar decision, removing South Korea from the list of high-risk countries in connection with the pandemic, Seoul's Ambassador to Prague Kim Tae-jin said.

The move came as Kim's embassy has constantly explained the notable progress in South Korea's fight against the virus.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's leading carmaker, also announced a plan recently to donate 500 million ($400,000) and 20,000 face masks to help Czech deal with COVID-19.

Czech suspended regular flight operation between Prague and Incheon as of March 5.

It is expected to take some time for flight service to resume, as the European Union has imposed a travel ban on all foreigners through April 16. (Yonhap)