Korean Air’s development into China is getting a boost from its cooperative relationship with Chinese partner carriers.
Starting this coming IATA Winter Season, the Korean carrier will expand codeshare with China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, to include all routes connecting Korea and mainland China operated by both Korea Air and either of the two Chinese carriers.
Korean Air and China Southern have a codeshare relationship since August of 2004 on one route, between Incheon and Shenyang. From October, this will be expanded to all flights on the following eight routes; Incheon ~ Shenyang, Incheon ~ Beijing, Incheon ~ Shanghai, Incheon ~ Guangzhou, Incheon ~ Dalian, Incheon ~ Changsha, Incheon ~ Yanji and Incheon ~ Zhengzhou. Codesharing between Korean Air and China Eastern began in November of 1996, but the scope of cooperation has been limited to two regional routes, Pusan ~ Shanghai and Cheongju ~ Shanghai. This too will be augmented to a total of 14 routes; Incheon ~ Beijing, Incheon ~ Shanghai, Incheon ~ Qingtao, Incheon ~ Weihei, Incheon ~ Yantai, Incheon ~ Sanya, Incheon ~ Changsha, Incheon ~ Kunming, Incheon ~ Wuhan, Incheon ~ Tunxi, Pusan ~ Shanghai, Cheongju ~ Shanghai, Kwangju ~ Shanghai, Jeju ~ Beijing.
Such massive expansion will allow travelers to reach most of the major destinations in China with more ease. For example on the Incheon ~ Shanghai route, Korean Air’s three-daily operations will be supplemented with seven more flights each day – five operated by China Eastern and two by China Southern – to make 10 flights per day for Korean Air customers. Similarly on the Incheon ~ Beijing route, seven China Eastern flights and 14 China Southern flights will be added to Korean Air’s existing 18 flights per week, making a total of 39 different schedules available for customers headed to or from China’s capital.
Last year, Korean Air proclaimed China as its second home market. Putting substance to this claim, eight of the 17 new routes inaugurated in 2006 were bound for China. (Incheon ~ Yantai, Weihei, Guangzhou, Dalian, Shenzhen, Yanji, Changsha and Pusan ~ Beijing) It is expected that the aviation market in China, where the 2008 Olympic Games will be hosted, will see tremendous growth in terms of both passenger and freight. And thanks to the bilateral agreement between Korea and China to gradually open skies between the two countries, Korean Air will be ready to meet all the growing demand.
Korean Air currently operates passenger flights to 21 destinations in mainland China, and Zhengzhou will be added in September.
Korean Air was named the Best First/Business Class Airline and the Best Frequent Flyer Program in TIME Readers’ Travel Choice Awards 2006. In April and July 2007 respectively, the carrier was named the Best Economy Class in the OAG Airline of the Year Awards and the Skytrax 2006/7 World Airline Awards. It was voted Best Asia/Transpacific Business Class Service by Business Traveler magazine in 2006. With its excellent financial performance in 2005, Korean Air received the "Phoenix Award" from Air Transport World (ATW) for its success in overcoming challenges in the global airline industry.
Korean Air, with a fleet of 123 aircraft, is one of the world's top 20 airlines, and operates almost 400 passenger flights per day to 114 cities in 37 countries. It is a founding member of SkyTeam, the global airlines alliance - partnering Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM and Northwest Airlines to provide customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. More on Korean Air's programs, routes, frequency and partners is available at www.koreanair.com.