Global Traveler: Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of Asiana Airlines. What measures has Asiana taken to celebrate this great achievement?
Jooan Kang: It has been 17 years since our first flight to Los Angeles, and to celebrate our 20 years in flight, we have decided to give back to those who helped us by sharing our success and gratitude with our customers, shareholders, suppliers, dealers, employees and society.
We will host a number of events such as inviting selected VIPs to fly our upgraded and newly introduced airplanes as our guests. We will award prizes to our customers and sales agents who have supported us the past 20 years. Asiana will also take part in events such as inviting underprivileged children to meet Asiana’s honorary ambassador, Yeon-Ah Kim, a figure skater and teen idol.
GT: How has Asiana upgraded its aircraft and services to benefit the North American premium traveler?
JK: To continue offering the best quality of service, we have been working on selecting new aircraft models as well as upgrading existing ones. In the case of the Boeing 747, the aircraft we fly to Los Angeles and New York, we just completed a massive renovation; we improved all of the seats and equipped every seat with the audio-visual-on-demand system. The spacious seating arrangement, including increased seat pitch of three to 10 inches, will offer passengers a more comfortable flight experience. We plan to invest more than $37 million in upgrading 16 airplanes flying mainly international routes.
Along with upgrading cabin facilities, we continue to upgrade our in-flight service. Asiana’s customers will enjoy using the newly designed Rosenthal tableware to indulge in high-class meals such as Korean Royal Table d’Hote and ssambab. Last October we introduced cuisines from world-renowned restaurants Do-Lim, La Cucina and Din Tai Fung in our first-class meal menus. We received the Best Airline Onboard Service and Flight Attendants award from Global Traveler, and we are well known for our innovative in-flight initiatives such as our charming service, in-flight magic shows, in-flight fashion shows and onboard chef services. We plan to introduce onboard sommeliers in the near future.
GT: Asiana took the lead regarding environmental decision-making policies within the airline community. What have some of these decisions entailed?
JK: In the European Union there is a movement that authorities include the airline industry in the Emission Trade Scheme. In order to comply with that, we are analyzing the amount of greenhouse gases our airplanes emit and estimating the cost for purchasing emission rights. Also, in cooperation with the government, we are discussing the effects of global warming and the changing culture.
Meanwhile, as an eco-friendly company, we try to retain our certificate by preventing possible contamination and administering self-audits concerning environmental issues. We also publish a sustainability report annually to promote and build awareness of environmental issues.
GT: What do you see as your biggest achievement during your service with Asiana?
JK: During my term as president of Asiana, the biggest achievement has been the first payment of dividends to our shareholders. Asiana showed a profit even though the industry was unfavorable.
Also, Asiana was given 5-star airline status by Skytrax last year. When Asiana began as a small company, our competitors were armed with more aircraft, better networks and solid reputations. We chose to focus on safety and services, and since our foundation we have learned a lot from the competition by benchmarking and improving those services. Now as a 5-star airline, we are looked up to by other airline companies trying to accomplish the same, and I am proud of that.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through St. Augustine, Florida, with us.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes recently announced its $30 million renovation and redesign. The property updates include renovations to guestrooms, the pool and club lounge.
If the winter months have you craving a snowy retreat surrounded by off-season island fun and warm fireplaces, The Bungalow at Greydon House should be on your list. An iconic stay in Nantucket, Massachusetts, The Bungalow offers a two-bedroom, three-bathroom retreat in the heart of historic downtown.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
Atlantis Paradise Island launched a 21 Reasons to Vacation at Atlantis in 2021 campaign, with the No. 1 reason being 21 percent savings sitewide. Travelers receive 21 percent savings on accommodations, with a minimum four-night stay required. They also receive 21 percent savings on Experience Packages, with a minimum stay of five nights required.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
Azamara recently launched its 2021 Wave Offer for guests booking through March 31. Savings of up to 40 percent are available for select sailings March 20, 2021–May 13, 2022. The offer also includes complimentary WiFi for guests in an Oceanview stateroom or higher, exclusive culture events and consumer flexibility with the Cruise with Confidence program.