KAL introduction of the Boeing 747 for its international Pacific routes in 1973.
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, France using 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.
Korean Air Lines Boeing 747SP at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in 1985.
Korean Air takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, France, 25 May 2011.
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 called the Wilshire Grand Tower. This building in downtown Los Angeles will house the largest InterContinental Hotel in the Americas in what will be the tallest building 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.
Corporate affairs and identity
One of the airline's offices, the KAL Building in Seoul
Korean Air's main global headquarters campus, the Korean Air Operations Center (대한항공 빌딩), is located in Gonghang-dong, Gangseo-gu in Seoul. Korean Air also maintains a domestic office campus at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul. Korean Air's lesser domestic hubs are based at Jeju International Airport, Jeju and Gimhae International Airport, Busan. The maintenance facilities are located in Gimhae International Airport.
The airline had 16,623 employees (as of March 2007).
Korean Air's main global headquarters campus, the Korean Air Operations Center (대한항공 빌딩), is located in Gonghang-dong, Gangseo-gu in Seoul.
The North America headquarters for passenger operations is located in Westlake, Los Angeles, United States, while its cargo operations for North America are on the property of Los Angeles International Airport in Westchester, Los Angeles.
The European headquarters are located in the City of Westminster, London. The French office is in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The German office is in Westend, Frankfurt.
The Commonwealth of Independent States headquarters are located in Tverskoy District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow, Russia.
Its Southeast Asia/Oceania headquarters are in the Ocean Tower (海洋大楼 Hǎiyáng Dàlóu) in Singapore.
Its Japanese headquarters are in the Tokyo Korean Air Building (KALビル KAL Biru?) in Shiba, Minato, Tokyo.
Its Chinese offices are in the Hyundai Motor Tower (现代汽车大厦 Xiàndài qìchē dàshà) in Chaoyang District, Beijing. Its Hong Kong sales office is in Tower 2 of the South Seas Center (南洋中心 Mandarin: Nányáng Zhōngxīn) in Kowloon.
Main article: Korean Air destinations
Korean Air destinations
Korean Air serves 114 international destinations in 50 countries on all 6 major continents, excluding codeshares. The airlines's international hub is Incheon International Airport in Incheon. The airline also flies 13 domestic destinations within South Korea. KAL operates between Incheon and 22 cities in Mainland China, and along with Asiana Airlines, it is one of the two largest foreign airlines to operate into the People's Republic of China.
Korean Air, along with British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and United Airlines, is one of few airlines that fly to all six inhabited continents