CEBU

Korean association to assist citizens stranded in Cebu

THE Cebu Korean Association (CKA) will help Korean nationals in Cebu who want to return to South Korea.

Speaking on behalf of the group, lawyer Jessica Banzon-Natad told SunStar Cebu that the CKA is doing a survey of Koreans here who would like to go home.

“We have also been communicating with Korean Air, informing them of the demand, and they have been cooperative,” she said.

According to Natad, South Korean airline Jin Air had a flight last March 28, 2020, while national flag carrier Korean Air scheduled trips for April 1, 3, 5 and 8.

“The airlines are assigning bigger aircraft to accommodate as many passsengers,” she said.

Natad said that Jeju Air is also exploring the possibility of arranging a charter flight if bookings reach 150.

Natad said they don’t have the exact number of passengers who flew back to Korea.

“Just an estimate, Jin Air which has 200 seats was fully booked, while Korean Air with 400 seats was almost fully booked,” she said.

As to the number of remaining or stranded Koreans in Cebu, Natad said it is still being determined.

“So far, according to our survey, the number of people who are willing to fly back to Korea is only about 80,” she said.

Meanwhile, Natad said the CKA gives rice and noodles to Koreans seeking their assistance, from the donations of their directors and members.

In 2020, the Department of Tourism estimated that 1.2 million South Koreans came to visit Central Visayas as tourists. In Cebu, aside from visitors and those settling down to make the province their home, Koreans make up the vast majority of foreign students, with around 9,000 ESL (English as a Second Language) students, based on 2017 statistics. (JOB)


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