Japan, South Korea flights mostly unaffected by harsh weather: SIA

Sub-zero temperatures and icy conditions have been affecting much of South Korea this week, with Tuesday seeing hundreds of flights in and out of Jeju Island grounded because of snowstorms.

About 540 flights, including nearly 70 that were temporarily added by transportation authorities in an emergency response, were scheduled in and out of Jeju on Wednesday alone, mostly to take passengers back to mainland cities.

The Korea Airports Corporation said that the operating hours at Gimpo airport near Seoul were extended until 1am on Thursday (midnight Singapore time) to accommodate the flights, which were expected to bring back 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the passengers who were stuck in Jeju.

The winter storms appeared to be moving towards the greater Seoul area and nearby regions, where heavy snow was expected from late Wednesday to Thursday afternoon, according to the Safety Ministry, which warned about dangerous road conditions.

In Japan, meanwhile, heavy snow and record cold temperatures also brought widespread disruptions.

Thousands of people using train services in Kyoto and Shiga prefectures in western Japan were forced to stay overnight in carriages or stations, while vehicles on major roads across the country were left stranded and hundreds of flights were cancelled, Kyodo News reported.

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