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.
Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.
For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Aqua-Aston Hospitality, with hotels in Hawai’i, Florida and Costa Rica, introduced an intelligent text messaging platform at its hotels and resorts, streamlining real-time communication with guests. Since the mobile technology has been implemented, the platform has been successfully used to answer guest questions, manage check-in, deliver amenities, quickly communicate updates on services, send alerts and enable contact-less check-out.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.
As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.
After more than a year of staying home and social distancing, Americans are ready to experience live entertainment again. According to Allianz Partners USA’s Vacation Confidence Index survey, 55 percent of Americans plan on attending at least one ticketed event before the end of 2021, with 16 percent planning to attend three or more events.