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Korean Air 

“Market Cap $2.12 B As of May 2014

At a Glance

  • Industry: Airline
  • Founded: 1962
  • Country: South Korea
  • CEO: Yang-Ho Cho
  • Website: www.koreanair.com
  • Employees: 16,036
  • Sales: $10.91 B
  • Headquarters: Seoul

Forbes Lists

#1388 Global 2000

Profile

Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. engages in operating scheduled air transportation services. It provides air transportation services such as passenger, cargo, building lease, maintenance, and training services. It also supplies aerospace, catering, in-flight sales, and Limousines. The company was founded in June 1962 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

“Korean Air History

Founding

Korean Air was founded by the South Korean government in 1962 as Korean Air Lines to replace Korean National Airlines, which was founded in 1946. On 1 March 1969, the Hanjin Transport Group took control of the airline. Long-haul freight operations were introduced on 26 April 1971, followed by passenger services to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on 19 April 1972

International flights to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Los Angeles were flown with Boeing 707s until the introduction of the Boeing 747 in 1973. In 1973, the airline introduced Boeing 747s on its Pacific routes and started a European service to Paris, Franceusing the 707 and then DC-10. In 1975, the airline became one of the first Asian airlines to operate Airbus aircraft with the purchase of 3 Airbus A300s, which were put into immediate service on Asian routes. Since the South Korean planes were prohibited to fly over the Soviet and North Korean airspace during the era, the European routes had to be designed eastbound, such as Gimpo-Anchorage-Paris.

Change to ‘Korean Air’

A blue-top, silver, and redesigned livery with a new corporate “Korean Air” logo featuring a stylized Taegeuk design was introduced on 1 March 1984, and the airline’s name changed to Korean Air from Korean Air Lines. This livery was introduced on its Fokker F28s. It was designed in cooperation between Korean Air and Boeing. In the 1990s, Korean Air became the first airline to use the new MD-11 to supplement its new fleet of Boeing 747-400 aircraft; however, the MD-11 did not meet the airline’s performance requirements and they were eventually converted to freighters. Some older 747 aircraft were also converted for freight service.

Further expansion and founding of Jin Air

In the 1980s, Korean Air’s head office was in the KAL Building on Namdaemunno, Jung-gu, Seoul.

As of 2007, Korean Air was in negotiations to open its China hub in Beijing or Shanghai by the end of 2008.

On 5 June 2007, Korean Air said that it would create a new low-cost carrier called Jin Air in Korea to compete with Korea’s KTX high-speed railway network system, which offers cheaper fares and less stringent security procedures compared to air travel, which started its scheduled passenger service from Seoul to Jeju on 17 July 2008. Korean Air announced that some of its 737s and A300s would be given to Jin Air.

By 2009, Korean Air’s image had become more prestigious, differing from the airline’s late-1990s image, which had been tarnished by several fatal accidents.

In mid-2010, a co-marketing deal with games company Blizzard Entertainment sent a 747-400 and a 737-900 taking to the skies wrapped in StarCraft II branding. In August 2010, Korean Air announced heavy second-quarter losses despite record high revenue. In August 2010, Hanjin Group, the parent of Korean, opened a new cargo terminal at Navoi in Uzbekistan, which will become a cargo hub with regular Incheon-Navoi-Milan flights.

Korean Air currently owns five hotels: two KAL hotels on Jeju island, the Hyatt in Incheon, Waikiki Resort in Hawaii, and a currently redeveloping hotel/office building (formerly the Wilshire Grand) in Los Angeles.

In summer 2013, Korean Air acquired 44% of Czech Airlines stake. Czech Airlines will serve as its subsidiary, and Prague Ruzyne Airport will serve as Korean Air’s secondary hub. Korean Air is in the process of transferring aircraft to Czech Airlines – one Airbus A330-300 was transferred in June 2013, and more are expected to come. Korean Air is currently thinking about transferring Airbus A330-300 or Boeing 747-400 to Czech airlines, after they are replaced with Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A380-800 respectively.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Koreanair.com

**Video published on YouTube by “hoshimittsu55

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Airline

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