This file photo provided by Air Premia shows its B787-9 passenger jet. (Air Premia)
South Korean budget carrier Air Premia Co. said Friday it has partnered with French air cargo services agent ESG Group to focus on the cargo business to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air Premia opened the Gimpo-Jeju Route in August, one month after it obtained government approval for offering commercial flight services. But it has temporarily halted the Jeju route this month.
"The deal with ESG Group is part of the company's two-track strategy in which the cargo business division offsets low demand in the passenger business division amid an extended pandemic," a company spokeswoman said.
Air Premia plans to offer flights on routes to Southeast Asia and the United States next year, the company said in a statement.
The carrier currently operates a 309-seat B787-9 passenger jet and plans to add another B787-9 plane to its fleet.
South Korea has two full-service carriers -- Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. -- and 10 low-cost carriers, including Jeju Air, Jin Air, Air Busan Co., Air Seoul Inc., Eastar Jet, T'way, Fly Gangwon, Air Premia and Air Incheon Co.
Air Incheon is a cargo-focused carrier, and the nine other low-cost ones are passenger carriers. (Yonhap)