SEOUL (Reuters) - Korean Air Lines Co Ltd has reopened a direct air route to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 15 years, a company statement said on Sunday, reflecting growing economic ties between the two nations.
The South Korean national flag carrier, which operates brand-new A330-200 aircraft, will launch three flights per week, linking South Korea's Incheon International Airport with the Saudi capital Riyadh and the port city of Jeddah.
Korean Air Lines suspended regular Riyadh-bound flights in 1997 when the so-called "Middle East boom" for South Korean construction firms ended.
The resumption of regular flights was attributed mainly to Saudi Arabia's emerging as South Korea's fourth-largest trading partner after China, the United States and Japan.
Seoul has recently signed many contracts from Riyadh in the energy, construction, civil engineering and other infrastructure sectors.
(Reporting by Sung-won Shim; Editing by Michael Perry)