Mini Airline to Start Gwangju-Gimpo Flights Next Week


Air Philip, a small airline based in the southwest, will start operating on June 30.

Air Philip said Thursday that it was recently given approval from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and will fly three times a day between Gwangju and Gimpo near Seoul.

In August last year, it became only the second small jet operator to get an air operator's certificate (AOC). It will use 50-seater jet made by Brazil's Embraer.

At the moment there is only one Gwangju-Gimpo return flight per day, but that is not enough to meet demand. Air Philip plans to add more routes to regional airports like Yangyang, Incheon, Gimhae, Heuksan Island, and Ulleung Island.

Air Philip also plans to start overseas flights to mostly Asian countries like Japan, China, Guam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Siberia.

It will be based in Gwangju and aims to fill the gap left by existing airline on short-haul routes.

It hopes to secure three planes within the first year, and gradually increase to 12 by 2022.

Air Philip president Eom Il-seok said, "There is a serious lack of transportation and aviation infrastructure in the southwest. We will work hard to resolve inconveniences that local residents experience, and promote the local tourism industry."