Air Premia (YP, Seoul Incheon) received its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) from the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) on July 16, 2021, following an extended, 16-month proving period.

The full-service carrier began its certification drive in March 2020, hoping to take delivery of its first B787-9 and to obtain the AOC by July 2020. However, a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and manufacturing delays led to the proving period being extended. The start-up eventually took delivery of its first Boeing widebody in April 2021, allowing it to enter the final phase of its certification.

Due to the extraordinary circumstances affecting the carrier's AOC drive, MOLIT agreed to extend the validity of the carrier's business licence. Under normal circumstances, the licence would have expired two years after it was granted, namely in March 2021.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry scrutinised Air Premia's financial standing more carefully than in normal times. It confirmed that the carrier, which recently secured a KRW65 billion won (USD52.5 million) capital investment from the JC & Partners/Cochina consortium, had viable funding to launch even in the current market downturn.

Although Air Premia now has both a business licence and an AOC, it must still secure route approvals from MOLIT before it launches. A company spokesperson told the Yonhap news agency that its proposed network would be outlined shortly and would take into consideration prevailing travel restrictions. Even though Air Premia is targeting medium- and long-haul services as its core market, it will begin operations on the trunk domestic route connecting Seoul Gimpo and Jeju, which is not affected by various curbs on international travel.

On top of its sole B787-9, Air Premia is awaiting a further two units of the type. All three will be dry leased from Air Lease Corporation, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.