Chairman Cho Yang-ho of Korean Air espoused qualitative growth over quantitative growth in this age of uncertainty. He said quality is the new standard for sustainable corporate growth. The Korean Air chairman made the statement on the occasion of the airline’s 48th anniversary on March 2, which was observed in a ceremony at the air carrier’s head office in Gonghang-dong, Seoul. He continued, saying that “48” is just a number and a paradigm change is needed for growth in quality, particularly in this day and age. That was the chairman’s way of emphasizing growth isn’t everything, especially for old business firms.
The chairman made the statement to awaken all of the airline’s employees as it is faced with a tough year ahead due to hikes in fuel prices and abrupt changes in the foreign exchange rates, which have not helped the airline’s financial structure.
The Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 that Korean Air received recently will fly Incheon-Latin America routes non-stop, and the airline marked the arrival of the super passenger jet with a huge ceremony at Incheon Int’l Airport on Feb. 27.
President Cho Won-tae said the new super jetliner would play a big role in boosting the airliner’ annual revenue to around 12 trillion won this year, reducing the debt ratio at the same time. He made the statement at a little ceremony for the delivery of the airplane at the airline’s hangar. Korean Air will also get the delivery for the B-787-10 new super jetliners by 2020.
The airline is destined receive 10 such super jetliners. The B-789-10 seats 40 fewer passengers than its sister aircraft, B-789-9, and has shorter flight range. The B-789-9 can fly directly to Los Angeles without refueling, but not B-789-10, the CEO said.
Boeing delivered the first 787-9 to Korean Air on Feb. 22, handing over the first Dreamliner a Korean carrier will operate in South Korea. The parties also commemorated the handover with a brief ceremony at Boeing’s 787 assembly operation in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The aircraft, the first of 10 787-9s that Korean has on order, will seat 269 passengers in a three-class configuration.
Korean Air will debut the 787 this spring on domestic flights between Seoul and Jeju, a short high-frequency route that will allow the carrier’s crews to become familiar with the aircraft. The airline will shift its 787s this summer to the high-profile international routes that the widebody is designed to fly.
Toronto will be Korean Air’s first international destinations to get the 787 in June.
Korean Air President Walter Cho said Los Angeles, Seattle and Barcelona will be among the airline’s next destinations to get service on the jet, though he said it was too early to offer a precise timetable.
Korean Air’s 787s will feature first, business and economy cabins. However, in a move that’s generated buzz, Korean Air will use the same seats for its first and business class cabins. Cho said the difference between the first- and business-class cabins will come from a higher, “very exclusive” level of service in the first-class cabin.
“Our customers know our service in first class is very special,” Cho told reporters.
Korean Air executives and a number of stewardesses enjoy the interior of the B-787-9 delivered to the air carrier recently.(Photos: Korean Air)