South Korean low cost carrier AeroK said Tuesday its first scheduled flight between Cheongju and Jeju will take off on April 15.
The airline, which is based at Cheongju International Airport, will fly three round trips per day with its A320 aircraft between the largest city of North Chungcheong Province and Jeju Island.
“Operation of our first scheduled flight had to be delayed as a result of the obstacle that is COVID-19, but we believe the news about our operation will be a silver lining in the cloud for the aviation and tourism sector,” said CEO Mike Kang in a statement.
Kang added that his airline has faced difficulties during the pandemic after being sidelined by many of the government’s support measures for airlines.
To help the local community, AeroK will offer a special 15 percent discount to residents of North Chungcheong Province and students based in the Chungcheong area from July after the current promotion ends.
The decision comes as the company previously said it chose Cheongju as a main operation point for strategic reasons, allowing it to offer cheaper prices than those based out of Gimpo, Incheon and Busan, where major airports are located, according to Kang.
Founded in 2016, it took years for the budget airline to fly its first commercial flight as issues such as the coronavirus pandemic and growing competition have dealt a severe blow to the industry, delaying the process for airline to offer service on multiple occasions.
During an interview with The Korea Herald last year, the CEO said it was “very frustrating” and “difficult” when things were not going as they had planned.
“But looking back again, we would have been even in a worse position now because the more aircrafts you have, the more downtime you have and therefore more money out the door,” Kang said at that time.
The airline made headlines for positioning itself as a progressive workplace last year as it introduced genderless uniforms that prioritize safety and vowed to reform the rigid corporate culture in the country’s aviation sector.
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com