On Monday morning, Korean Air upgraded the seat of its first Korean passenger heading to the U.S. on a visa-free visit and provided him with free accommodation and dinner at a hotel.
Asiana Airlines also upgraded the seat of the first passenger flying visa-free to Los Angeles.
In the afternoon, United Airlines held a tape-cutting ceremony at the airport gate with U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Kathleen Stephens.
Not surprisingly, travel to the US is expected to increase.
Asiana Airlines will increase the frequency of Incheon-Seattle flights to four per week from the current three starting Dec. 11. From Dec. 16, the number of weekly flights between Incheon and Los Angeles will also rise to 14 from 11.
``We expect the demand for flights to the U.S. to increase by about 12 percent and annual gains by some 25 billion won,'' an Asiana official said.
Americans, too, may now visit South Korea visa-free for 90 days, up from the previous mark of 30. Not surprisingly, articles about "unique, dynamic Korea" and "unqualified foreign teachers" are expected to increase. The thing about having more foreigners come to Korea is that more foreigners come to Korea.