2 Interesting Things to Know When Traveling with Korean Air

Have you heard about Korean Air?

Korean Air is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance established in 2000. SkyTeam currently has 19 members (Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Garuda Indonesia, ITA, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines and XiamenAir) across 170 countries across the world. In 2022, Korean Air ranked 9th in the World Airline Awards hosted by UK-based airline consultancy Skytrax.

1.Uncovering Korean History

Photo from Korean Air

Photo from Korean Air

Korean National Airlines (KNA) was the first ever air carrier in South Korea. This international carrier was privately owned by its chairman, Captain Shin Yong-Wook (신용욱). It has been operated with the brand name ‘Korean Air’ since then. Korean Air was nationalized in 1962. Back in the time, the South Korean government nationalized a number of industries to facilitate economic growth. This government-owned Korean Air was suffering from deficits. In 1969, President Choong Hoon Cho decided to take over Korean Air and privatized with the mission and belief of “Patriotism through Transportation.” President Cho had the firm belief of expanding the reach of the Korean people across the globe.

In 1973, Korean Air started to introduce B747 jumbo jet, which was a big bold decision at that time. In 1975, Korean Air was designated by the government as a military logistics company for the maintenance, assembly and manufacturing of military aircraft.

Image from 1000 logos

hoto from Korean Air

In 1984, to enhance the corporate image, Korean Air changed its symbol from a red swan to Taegeuk, a red and blue circle that symbolizes Korea. The Taegeuk mark embodies both Korean Air’s power and national flag by harmonizing red and blue. We think this shows the relationship between Korean Air and Korean history and spirit.

In 1988, Korean Air widely and actively supported the Olympic Games as the official airline of Korea.

Since then till now, Korean Air has been recognized as one of the best airlines in the world for its strengths of customer service, cleanliness, legroom, food and beverage, and in-flight entertainment.

2. A Wide Range of Food Services

Photo from Korean Air

Koreans value customer service and hospitality. Korean Air is well known for its customer service as Korean Air flight attendants will show politeness and welcoming hospitality. Korean Air services a wide range of Korean food – the most popular one is Bibimbap – a Korean traditional dish with rice, vegetables, beef, sesame seeds and gochujang (Korean pepper paste sauce).

Photo from Nongshim

Passengers can also enjoy the free ramen cup noodles on air. Since 1997, Korean Air started to provide cup noodles.

In addition, Korean Air now introduces Korean-style vegan meals on all international routes starting from March 2023. Korean food will be added to the existing 6 vegan menus. The main menu will include barley rice (with burdock root) using seasonal ingredients, mushroom, mung bean jelly salad called Tangpyeongchae (탕평채), and plum tofu seasoning. Passengers may request this on the Korean Air website or mobile app at least 24 hours prior to flight departure.

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