South Korean carrier Air Premia wants to fly to the United States. The carrier has filed with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for permission to fly to the United States from South Korea with its Boeing 787 aircraft. The initial plan is to connect Seoul with Los Angeles.
Air Premia files to fly to the US
On Friday, July 30th, Air Premia filed with the DOT requesting permission o fly to the United States. The carrier has applied for a foreign air carrier permit to fly people, cargo, and mail from South Korea to the United States and the opportunity to sell connecting itineraries within reason of the US – Republic of Korea open skies agreement.
The carrier states that it is seeking to commence flights between Seoul and Los Angeles in the second quarter of 2022. The carrier wants to fly a Boeing 787-9 with 309 seats onboard the aircraft on the route.
The Seoul to Los Angeles route
Two airlines are scheduled to fly nonstop between Los Angeles and Seoul in the second quarter of 2022. That includes Asiana Airlines and Korean Air – two of the largest airlines in South Korea.
Both airlines have currently filed schedules to run two flights per day. Korean Air is planning double-daily Airbus A380 services while Asiana has filed one daily A380 and one daily Airbus A350 service.
Factoring connecting itineraries, then there are plenty of competitors on this route. Ranging from Air Canada to Japan Airlines to United Airlines to Delta and so many more options.
This is going to be a route to watch. Asiana Airlines and Korean Air are pushing forward with their plans to merge, which could lead to some changes on this route. It would give Korean a monopoly on nonstop flying between Los Angeles and Seoul.
Air Premia could be the answer on this route. None of the major US carriers seem interested in adding a new flight from Los Angeles and Seoul. Even if Delta were to come into the route, its joint venture with Korean Air would not add competition to the route.
There will be some risk for Air Premia to take on Korean head-to-head, and even more considering the carrier will be up against both Korean and Asiana. Long-haul international expansion can be an expensive boondoggle, as other airlines have learned the hard way.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
About Air Premia
Air Premia is a startup carrier in South Korea. The airline has some big plans. In its filing, the carrier has indicated that it wants to concentrate on domestic operations between Seoul (Gimpo) and Jeju.
In terms of international flying, the airline is planning on concentrating its flying on Asian routes to countries like Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. These international flights would start before the flights to the US, giving the airline a bit of a connecting network, so it does not have to rely entirely on origin and destination demand between the two cities.
The Boeing 787 is going to be Air Premia’s long-haul international flagship aircraft. The carrier currently has three Boeing 787-9s expected to be delivered under a lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation (ALC). One of these has already been delivered.
Air Premia received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) on July 16th, 2021. With this in its hand, the carrier is getting so much closer to operating its first commercial flights and then expanding operations to include long-haul transpacific flights.
What do you make of Air Premia’s plans to fly long-haul to the US from Seoul? Let us know in the comments!