South Korean start-up carrier Aero K received the official Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for international and domestic air travel services issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) on December 28, 2020.

According to the MOLIT, the financial situation was deemed sufficient for Aero K to start its operations. The low-cost South Korean airline would be able to commence services after obtaining other necessary allowances, such as route permit.

“Issuing the flight certificate is not the final stage of the establishment of the airline, but the starting stage of safety management in which the obligation to maintain the airline's safe operation system is given,” MOLIT wrote in a statement. 

Aero K is based at Cheongju International Airport (CJJ) in Cheongwon-gu, South Korea. The airline’s inaugural flight is expected to take place once the necessary route permits are obtained. Aero K will start flying on the domestic Cheongju-Jeju route. Aero K plans to focus on domestic as well as the international flight services in Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam.

Previously, Aero K planned to launch its operations in March 2020. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the airline’s launch was delayed. Aero K is expected to start operations with its Airbus A320-200 aircraft. Currently, the airline has one A320-200 aircraft in its fleet, according to Planespotters.net. 

Aero K genderless uniforms

Earlier in 2020, Aero K introduced gender-neutral uniforms for cabin crew. The airline presents itself as a progressive company which puts less restrictions on female crew looks."We wanted to avoid gender discrimination in costumes and gender commercialization of female crew," said Kim Sang-bo, the head of the Aero K Marketing division.

“We are seeing comments that the uniforms maybe are not as pretty. But the definition of ‘pretty,’ that perspective of the female cabin crew, is still in a lot of people’s heads. But for us, I think this in itself is who we are as an airline. So it’s not for everyone. But it is who we are,” Aero K CEO Mike Kang said, The Korea Herald reported.

It is the first South Korean airline to introduce gender-neutral uniforms for cabin crew.