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Korean Air adopts 'back-to-front' boarding amid virus outbreak

(Korean Air)
(Korean Air)

Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's biggest carrier, said Wednesday it has started boarding passengers from back to front to help stem the potential spread of the new coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Korean Air began to apply the back-to-front boarding system on all of its domestic and international routes to minimize contact among passengers, the company said in a statement.

Airlines usually have priority boarding for first class and business class passengers instead of having passengers in the last row enter the aircraft first.

The move is in line with the government's social distancing policy, and multinational carriers, such as Delta Air Lines Inc., have already introduced the scheme amid the virus crisis.

In May, Korean Air joined its global peers, such as United Airlines Inc. and American Airlines Inc., in requiring masks to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

Early last month, the International Air Transport Association, which represents global airlines, recommended the mandatory wearing of masks or face coverings on flights to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The country's national flag carrier has suspended more than 90 percent of flights on international routes since late March following country lockdowns and entry restrictions.

This month, Korean Air resumed flights on 19 international routes, as it strives to offset a sharp decline in passenger travel demand with increased demand for cargo deliveries.

The resumption is aimed at preparing for increased travel demand after countries ease their entry restrictions on incoming passengers to stem the spread of COVID-19, the company said.

The routes that resumed services include Washington, DC, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Frankfurt, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. (Yonhap)