Well-heeled South Koreans will find it easier to get around their country after Hanseo Aerospace, a company that provides aerial fire-fighting services, starts up an aircraft charter operation in April.

"Most of the private jets in South Korea are owned by businessmen and none are available for charter," says Lee Sun Han, Hanseo's director of strategy and planning. "We are the first dedicated aircraft charter company in South Korea, targeting businessmen and entertainers and offering services at an affordable price. We will serve the domestic market initially, but we plan to offer charters to countries like Japan and China eventually."

Hanseo applied for its air operator's certificate in the middle of last year and received it in early March. Operations will start with a Hawker 900XP, a Beechcraft 1900D and a KingAir C90GT twin turboprop owned by Hanseo University, a shareholder in the company. Hanseo Aerospace also operates three helicopters a Kawasaki BK117, an Enstrom 480B and an Enstrom 280FX. Charter services will be available from major cities like Seoul and Busan, and connect passengers to smaller towns that are not serviced by the country's scheduled airlines.

The aircraft will be based at an airfield owned by the university at Taean, South Chungcheong province, which is a two-hour drive from South Korea's capital Seoul. Hanseo has its own hangars at the facility, from which it provides helicopter operation, pilot training and aircraft maintenance services.

National carrier Korean Air also has a Gulfstream GIV available for charter. At least two other companies are considering starting up dedicated aircraft charter companies in South Korea, according to industry sources.


Source: Flight International