Flights between Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan, have restarted following suspension of services for more than two years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Four airlines from the two countries have begun eight round trips per week, reported Kyodo News.

These airlines include Korean Air and Asiana Airlines of South Korea, as well as Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

The trips have recommenced between Seoul’s Gimpo airport and Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

Before the departure of Asiana Airlines’ first flight from South Korea to Japan, its official Kim Eun Jeong was quoted by the news agency as saying: “I hope (the flight resumption) will be a catalyst for overcoming coronavirus and revitalising South Korea-Japan exchanges.”

Last week, Seoul and Tokyo agreed to restart operations between the two airports to improve relations between the two countries.

In a separate development, South Korea plans to construct a local airport with an investment of around $626m (KRW807bn).

The airport is expected to be built by 2028, while operations will be started in 2029, according to the country’s Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Won Hee-ryong.

The new airport at Saemangeum, which is 280km south-west of Seoul, will feature a 2,500m runway and an airport apron that can accommodate five planes.

It will also have a passenger terminal, a cargo terminal, and other related facilities.

Upon completion, this airport is anticipated to handle around 1.05 million passengers, as well as 8,000tpa of cargo in 2058, reported the Yonhap news agency.