[“COVERS FLEW OVER THE LAND OF MORNING CALM”] On November 15, 1991, Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second international carrier, inaugurated flight between Seoul and Los Angeles. No first flight covers (FFCs) are known to exist for the return flight as philatelic recognition from United States Postal Service was not requested by Asiana Airlines according to United States Postal Service. For the initial flight from Korea, someone would be very hard-pressed to find any “philatelically-carried” first flight cover either and I’ll explain why I think the chance of having such FFCs for the transpacific inaugural flight by Asiana Airlines is very slim. It stems from my personal experience in Seoul a year before the transpacific inaugural flight.
Asiana Airlines became Korea’s second international carrier after Korean Air or KAL, inaugurating flight between Seoul and Tokyo, Japan, in January of 1990, when I happened to be in Seoul on vacation. The international first flight was advertised with huge banners outside Asiana Airlines headquarter building in downtown. Some vertical banners were several stories high. Advertisements were seen on many overpasses all over the city as well as most of leading newspapers leading up to the flight date. I couldn’t possibly be unaware of this pending flight even if I wasn’t a collector of flight covers.
Happily, I prepared covers, properly addressed, as I would have in the US, and sent them to both Asiana Airlines and Korean Philatelic Center, where rubberstamped cachets for first flights usually provided to the collectors and processed the covers for such flights.