Air Korea's journey began in 1961 as part of Han Jin Transportation Co. Ltd. founded in 1945 operating a humble fleet of buses and trucks. However, the company's spirit of innovation and growth led it to venture into aviation. With its two Convair 240s, Air Korea started operating domestic flights and later acquired a L1649A freighter in 1967. The company aimed to expand its services to various destinations such as the US, Tokyo, Taipei, Hongkong, Manila, Saigon, and Bangkok. Despite facing some challenges, the airline continued to operate non-scheduled flights between South Korea and South Vietnam, and even the Starliner occasionally flew as far as to San Francisco. Unfortunately, in 1968, all flights were suspended.
Through the generosity of Pratt & Whitney, the former C-121A warbird, cn2061 N494TW (ex 48-609 USAF) found a new home with Korean Air. Starting from its departure in Avra Valley, AZ on 1st April, 2005, the Connie embarked on a journey, Oakland - Anchorage - Cold Bay - Hakodate (Japan) - Inchon (South Korea) - Busan (South Korea) that would take it across continents and oceans before finally landing at Jeongseok on Jeju Island on 18 April, 2005, marking the end of her flying career. Today, the Constellation stands as a symbol of excellence and dedication at the Korean Air Flight Academy airfield, painted in the colours of Air Korea with the registration number HL4003. It's worth noting that the true HL4003 is cn1037 a Lockheed L1649A Starliner.