New South Korean longhaul LCC – Air Premia expects first flight in 2019

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Air Premia plans to launch low-cost operations by end of 2019, flying medium and long-haul routes routes out of South Korea. The carrier, which was established in July 2017, is currently preparing to apply for its air transport license AOC, as well as finalising its route network and seeking investors.

The start-up airline is looking at the A330neo or B787-9 as its sole aircraft type, which will fly to the Americas, Asia and Europe. Routes under consideration include Singapore, Saigon, San Francisco, Munich, and San Jose, California.

Kim Jong-cheol (60) is in charge of the launch.

Kim served as President of Jeju Air [089590] in 2009 ~ 2012 and transformed Jeju Airlines, which was suffering from a chronic deficit, into a surplus.

“I plan to provide competitive services with a cheaper fare and a larger seat than a large airline (FSC) while flying on long-haul routes that low-cost airlines (LCC) We have built a management strategy based on successful experience and thorough analysis of the aviation market in recent years.”

The domestic airline market in South Korea has exploded since the first LCC launch in 2005, centring on short-haul routes such as Japan and Southeast Asia. However, LCCs have not been able to grow the supply of mid- and long-haul routes as demand for mid-FSC such as Korean Air and Asiana Airlines

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport reportedly refused to apply for licenses because of the lack of business plans at the time and the opposition of existing airlines.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is also pushing for amendments to strengthen the entry requirements for airline operators to 30 billion won in capital and more than five aircraft.

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