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Korean Air Aims to Be Among Top 10 Carriers

Korean Air Aims to Be Among Top 10 Carriers
The adoption of the next-generation aircraft A380 is part of Korean Air’s effort to become a world class high-end airline, said Cho Yang-ho, the company’s chairman and CEO.

Cho took part in a test flight of the aircraft, arranged to provide people with a chance to experience Korean Air’s upgraded in-flight services, which will be available on its A380s.

``We decided to buy the A380 due to its economical efficiency and environmental friendliness, as well as for more passenger comfort. It will help achieve our vision `excellence in flight,’’’ Cho said in a press conference on the plane during the flight.

The airline aims to become one of the world’s top 10 carriers in passenger transport by 2015 through continually buying next-generation aircraft and improving services.

``An A380 can have more than 800 seats when comprising only economy class seats, leaving less room for other amenities, but we plan to have some 500 seats so that passengers can feel more comfortable,’’ he said.

The carrier plans to operate the aircraft for the Los Angeles and New York runs first as traffic to the cities is large and airports there will have facilities for the super jumbo jet.

Cho forecast the demand for air travel will greatly increase when the U.S. visa waiver program includes Korea, and the A380 will play a big role. ``We will have to compete with American carriers. Korean Air will make efforts to have more high-end facilities and improved cabin services,’’ the chairman said.

He said Korean Air wants to expand its destinations to South Africa, Brazil and more European cities, as well as Xian, China.

Regarding the Chinese market, Cho said China Southern Airlines would join the Sky Team, an airline alliance of which Korean Air is a founding member, within the year, and this will lead to an expansion of the network in China.

By: Kim Rahn - Staff Reporter

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