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SEOULNew South Korean carrier has taken delivery of its first aircraft a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, from the American lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC).

The aircraft featuring Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines is the first of three Boeing 787-9 jets to be delivered to Air Premia from ALC’s order book with Boeing this year.

"Today, thanks to our great partnership with ALC, is a historic moment for the Korean Air Transportation Industry with the birth of our new hybrid service carrier: Air Premia. Our airline will soon bring hope and joy to those in dire thirst of a true journey with comfort and care.”

“We are thrilled to announce this first of three Boeing 787-9 aircraft delivery to Air Premia today,” said Steven F. Udvar-H├ízy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation. “As the first aircraft in the Air Premia fleet, this ALC Dreamliner will launch the new airline’s international network and contribute to an excellent debut in the Korea marketplace.”

“We cannot describe in words how grateful and honored we are to receive our first Boeing 787 Dreamliner,” said Mr. Peter JY Sim, CEO of Air Premia. “Today, thanks to our great partnership with ALC, is a historic moment for the Korean Air Transportation Industry with the birth of our new hybrid service carrier: Air Premia. Our airline will soon bring hope and joy to those in dire thirst of a true journey with comfort and care.”

Air Premia is a proposed South Korean hybrid carrier, founded by former JEJU air president Kim Jong Chul. The start-up had expected to commence by Sep-2020, operating wide-body aircraft on medium and long-haul services to destinations in Southeast Asia and the United States in 2021. It was founded in Jul-2017, with Air Premia securing a business license on 04-Mar-2019. Air Premia plans to operate ten Boeing 787-9s within five years, with a seat configuration of economy and premium economy.

On 11-May-2020, Air Premia CEO Kim Se-young reported the start-up airline aims to commence operations by Oct-2020, despite the impact of coronavirus on travel demand. However, the Air Premia launch has been further pushed back. The airline is still in the process of gaining its AOC, and the delivery of its aircraft has been delayed. The first 787 was expected to arrive in early Nov-2020.

In Jan-2021, Air Premia advised it expects to receive its air operator's certificate (AOC) from South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport in Feb-2021. The start-up airline also expects to take delivery of its first aircraft, a Boeing 787-9, in Feb-2021.

On 17-Feb-2021, South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport extended the timeframe for Air Premia to launch their inaugural operation to retain their operating license from 05-Mar-2021 to 31-Dec-2021 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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