Published on Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Air Korea joins the LCC party

SEOUL – Another low cost carrier is set to launch in Asia following Korean Air's decision to begin operations with tentatively named ‘Air Korea’ in May 2008.

Korean Air’s board has approved plans to invest 20 billion Korean won (US$21.5m) to establish a separate corporate body for the budget start-up.

Air Korea will use Incheon International Airport as its base.

It will launch routes to destinations in China’s Shandong and Hainan Provinces, which are covered by an open skies agreement between Korea and China.

Air Korea will also open routes to Japan (except Tokyo), Thailand and Malaysia, also under open skies agreements.

It plans to widen its network to other short or mid-distance destinations.

Korean Air first announced its intentions to establish a low cost carrier in June this year. Korea Air will secure three A300s and two B737s.

Aircraft maintenance and operation training will be outsourced to Korean Air. The latter will concentrate on serving high-end business travel.

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