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July 9, 2014

Korean Air Climbs The Ladder Across The Pacific

By Chris Boyle

A recent report by The Centre for Aviation highlighted from 2006 to 2013 Korean Air has grabbed the lead among Asian airlines in annual passenger flights between North America and North and Southeast Asia (over 5,500), passing Japan Airlines and now closing in on Delta Airlines and United Airlines.  What’s more, while Korean Air has been growing, others have been shrinking.  The report notes that China Airlines, JAL, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai International and United have all reduced frequencies, a key measure for business travelers.

1378517760000-A380-Celestial-BarWith its modern Incheon hub, the airline has found a strong market connecting the Americas to China.  It has also made itself into a premium product leader, offering private jet charter service in Asia as well as lounges on its Airbus A380s and the world’s first in-flight Duty Free store.

With an eye to capturing more of the transit market, Korean Air announced it is improving its schedule from Beijing to its Incheon hub, offering new early morning departures with same-day connections to the central and eastern regions of North America.

According to a press release, the airline also has increased service between Incheon and Guangzhou, adding three weekly flights to that city. In all, Korean Air is increasing flights to six Chinese cities and adding 15 more flights to China each week.

‘We are enhancing our industry-leading position,” said John Jackson, Korean Air’s Vice President of Marketing & Sales for the Americas. “We’ve said we’re bullish on the Americas and our actions are speaking loud and clear.  We have great schedules to China and Southeast Asia from our gateways in the Americas and we’re building on that strength.”

Jackson said “these changes will benefit travelers most in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Toronto.  Our Eastern gateways will definitely have more access to China.”

Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Mudanjiang and Yanji are the Chinese cities with enhanced service.

Korean Air serves 14 North and South American gateways with a fleet of A380s, B747s and B777s, all configured with lie-flat, comfortable seats in Prestige (Business Class) and featuring Korean Air’s “award-winning service, absorbing inflight entertainment and extensive duty-free shopping.”

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