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Korean Air and Delta celebrate five years of transpacific joint venture

  • Korean Air Chairman Cho Won-tae speaks after receiving the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Air Transport World at Grand Cevahir Hotel in Istanbul on June 2. (Photo courtesy of Korean Air).
  • From right to left, Walter Cho, Korean Air Chairman and CEO, and Adrian Schofield, senior air transport editor, Aviation Week Network, at ATW Awards Ceremony

Korean Air and Delta offer 18 peak day departures between Seoul-Incheon and the U.S., connecting more than 290 destinations in the Americas and over 80 destinations in Asia in 44 countries.

SEOUL – Korean Air and Delta Air Lines are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the leading joint venture partnership between the U.S. and Asia, a partnership that continues to grow traffic through the region’s premier connecting hub at Incheon International airport (ICN).

The partnership has improved customer experience, enhanced its combined network and benefited more than 7 million customers since launching in May 2018. Korean Air and Delta rapidly grew connecting passengers at ICN to 2,000 per day each way, an increase of more than 40% in five years despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Korean Air and Delta offer 18 peak day departures between Seoul-Incheon and the U.S., connecting more than 290 destinations in the Americas and over 80 destinations in Asia in 44 countries.

“Through our five-year partnership, we have delivered exceptional convenience and services to our customers who fly with us across the Pacific and beyond,” said Keehong Woo, President of Korean Air . “We are excited to continue bringing our customers the ultimate travel experience, as we keep evolving and strengthening our joint venture going forward.”

“We are proud of how we achieved the leading position in the trans-Pacific together with Korean Air the past five years, which is all thanks to the dedication of our people,” said Peter Carter, Delta’s Executive Vice President – External Affairs. “We are also excited for how this best-in-class joint venture will continue to deliver for our customers, our business partners and our employees for many more years to come.”

Throughout their partnership, Korean Air and Delta have worked closely to develop comprehensive and aligned products and services to ensure a consistent and industry-leading customer experience, including:

  • Introduced new Minneapolis and Boston to Incheon service
  • Launched seamless check-in powered by SkyTeam technology that enables digital check-in via both Korean Air and Delta’s apps or websites
  • Aligned baggage allowances and priority boarding for corporate customers
  • Offered reciprocal benefits on Korean Air’s SKYPASS and Delta’s SkyMiles
  • Reduced connecting time with convenient flight schedules

Throughout this year, Korean Air and Delta will run multiple campaigns and events to celebrate the joint venture’s anniversary under a new fifth anniversary logo.

On June 1, over 200 employees and partners of the joint venture held a celebration in Seoul to commemorate the important milestone of the partnership.

Korean Air CEO awardedATW’s Excellence in Leadership Award

Korean Air Chairman and CEO Walter Cho was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award at Air Transport World’s (ATW) 49th Airline Industry Achievement Awards ceremony in Istanbul, Türkiye on June 2.

Launched in 1974, the ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards are some of the most coveted honors an airline or individual can receive; recipients are selected after undergoing a rigorous evaluation process conducted by a global judging panel of editors and analysts.

Walter Cho was recognized for his role as a key leader in the global aviation industry as a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors and Chairman of the SkyTeam Alliance Board.

Cho’s leadership and crisis management has widely been recognized over the course of the pandemic, as he successfully navigated the COVID-19 crisis and made the bold and historic decision to acquire Asiana Airlines. Walter Cho has also strengthened the airline’s global presence by launching the most comprehensive transpacific joint venture partnership with Delta.

“I’m very humbled to receive this award, and I share this with all of my employees and colleagues at Korean Air, and our valued customers that continue to support us, as well as our great partner, Delta,” said Walter Cho at the awards ceremony.

Korean Air was also recognized for the past two years as ATW’s 2021 Airline of the Year and 2022 Cargo Operator of the Year. Cho has also received numerous awards for his outstanding leadership such as FlightGlobal’s 2022 Air Cargo Leadership Award and Orient Aviation’s 2021 Person of the Year.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.