T'way Air (TW, Seoul Gimpo) will suspend four scheduled routes between South Korea and airports in Kyushu, Japan, the LCC announced on July 22, as souring relations between the two countries continue to affect demand.

Connections between Busan and both Oita (3x weekly) and Saga (4x weekly), as well as Daegu-Kumamoto (4x weekly) and Muan-Oita (3x weekly), all of which went into service in November and December 2018, are to be suspended until further notice, the carrier said in a statement.

An official of the Kumamoto Prefectural Government told the Jiji Press news agency that T’way had cited poor demand due to worsening bilateral relations and a sluggish South Korean economy.

“There is no prospect for a resumption of the flights in or beyond late October, when the winter schedule starts,” the official said, adding that a Korean television show promoting trips to Japan had been axed.

The latest episode in the two countries' often strained ties erupted in early July when Japan restricted exports of materials necessary for Korea’s high-tech industry, citing national security concerns. Koreans have been cancelling trips as part of a highly publicised travel boycott.

This summer season, out of a total of 57 routes, T’way Air currently operates 25 of them to ten airports in Japan, the ch-aviation capacities module shows.