SEOUL, South Korean premium economy carrier Air Premia Inc. said Wednesday that it will introduce three B787-9 aircraft to start its flight services later this year.

The Seoul-based airline, which received its business license from the transportation ministry in early March, said it signed a deal with U.S.-based Air Lease Corporation to use the long-haul, twin-engined, medium-sized passenger jets.

The first of the passenger planes made by Boeing Co. will be delivered in July, with the second and third to form the Air Premia fleet in September and November, respectively.

The company said earlier it will focus on medium-to-long haul flights to differentiate itself from most of the local low cost carriers (LCCs) that focus more on shorter routes.

The use of the Dreamliner jets by the airline is seen as out of the ordinary for newly launched carriers that in the past have usually opted for smaller planes, like the B737, A320 and A321, for their fleets.

Among South Korean LCCs, only Jin Air Co., an affiliate of Korean Air Lines Co., the country's largest flag carrier, uses the long-haul B777-200 jets, although most of its fleet is made up of B737-800 airliners.

Air Premia said it will offer flights to Asian destinations, like Vietnam, Japan. and Hong Kong, but expand its routes to the western part of the United States in 2021.

The company said that it will maintain a so-called one-plane fleet system that can reduce maintenance costs and training for flight crews. It said the plan is to have 10 B787-9 jets in five years that can allow it to provide more routes and better services to customers.

Source: Yonhap news Agency