(2nd LD) Flights resume from typhoon-hit Guam to bring stranded S. Korean tourists home

South Korean tourists stranded on Guam will return home as the international airport on the island resumed operation Monday afternoon after closure due to a powerful typhoon, airline officials said.

The country's four carriers -- Korean Air Co., Jeju Air Co., Jin Air Co. and T'way Air -- said they have resumed flights to bring back Korean tourists starting Monday, as the Guam airport reopens at 2 p.m. (Korean time) or 3 p.m. (local time) on the same day.

The carriers plan to send a total of 11 passenger jets to Guam on Monday to bring about 2,500 Korean travelers home, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Those planes are expected to arrive at the airport in Guam from Monday to Tuesday.

Of them, Jin Air's flight will be the first to return to Incheon International Airport from Guam at 8:40 p.m. Monday. The Jin Air aircraft is scheduled to leave for Incheon at 4:00 p.m. (Korean time), a Jin Air spokesman said over the phone.

Korean Air, the country's national flag carrier, said it will operate a 338-seat B777-300 aircraft and a 276-seat A330-300, respectively, on Monday and Tuesday, to carry Korean tourists.

On Monday morning, the foreign ministry dispatched four officials to provide help to the stranded tourists and discuss possible issues with local authorities, with two more officials planning to join them Monday afternoon.

Some 3,400 South Korean tourists have remained stuck in Guam since the international airport on the United States' Pacific island territory was shut down Monday last week due to damage caused by Typhoon Mawar.

Source: Yonhap News Agency