Record no. of passengers fly in November

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Record no. of passengers fly in November

Korea’s air passenger traffic reached a new record for November on the back of the rise in the number of Chinese tourists and increased overseas travel demand, government data showed Tuesday.

The number of air passengers came to 9.57 million last month, up 5.6 percent from a year earlier, making it a new record for November, according to a tally from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The ministry attributed the surge to the return of Chinese visitors and the steady increase in overseas travel demand.

Passenger traffic on Chinese routes spiked 24 percent to 1.32 million, slightly lower than the same month in 2016, when a row between the two countries over the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missile system had yet to emerge.

China banned the sale of group travel packages to South Korea in March 2017 due to a diplomatic row with Seoul over the deployment of a Thaad battery in Korea. China has since partially lifted the ban.

International air passenger traffic rose 8.8 percent on year to a record 7.01 million last month, while domestic passenger traffic dropped 2.5 percent to 2.56 million, according to the ministry.

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