Korean Air is the flag carrier airline of South Korea, its global headquarters are located in Seoul, Korea. Its international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45 countries, while its domestic division serves 20 destinations. It is among the top 20 airlines in the world airlines in terms of passengers carried. It is the largest airline based in South Korea, the second largest being Asiana Airlines. Incheon International Airport, located in Incheon serves as Korean Air's international hub and gateway. Korean Air also maintains a satellite headquarters campus at Incheon International Airport, located 30 minutes away from Korea's capital, Seoul.
Korean Air's main global headquarters campus and its Global Operations
Center are located in Seoul, Korea in Gangseo-gu (ward). Korean Air
also maintains a domestic office campus at Gimpo International Airport
in Seoul. Korean Air's lesser domestic superhubs are based at Jeju
International Airport and Gimhae International Airport, Busan.
Korean Air was founded by the South Korean Government in 1962 as Korean Air Lines to replace Korean National Airlines (founded in 1948). On 1 March 1969 the Hanjin Transport Group took control of the fledgling airline. Long-haul freight operations were introduced on 26 April 1971 followed by passenger services to Los Angeles on 19 April 1972.
Korean Air Lines Boeing 747SP at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin, France, (1985)International flights to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Los Angeles were flown with Boeing 707s until the introduction of Boeing 747 in 1973. In 1973, KAL introduced Boeing 747s on their Pacific routes and started a European service to Paris using the 707 and DC-10. KAL was also Airbus's first customer outside Europe.
In 1998, an economic recession hit South Korea, which resulted in large reductions in flights and destinations. In 2000, Korea recovered and Korean Air expanded its global destination network, adding gateways from its hub at Incheon International Airport.
Korean Air flies to the most US gateway destinations of any Asian carrier (14 cities in the 50 states and territories).
Korean Air owns 25% of Okay Airways, a Tianjin, PRC-based airline. As of 2007, Korean Air is in negotiations to open its China hub in Beijing or Shanghai by the end of 2008.
The airline has 16,623 employees (at March 2007). On June 5, 2007,
Korean Air said that it would create a new low-cost carrier in Korea
to compete with Korea's super-high speed railway network system named
KTX which offers cheaper fares and less stringent security procedures.
Korean Air's low-cost concept will fly Boeing 737s. Over 20 domestic
destinations are planned to be part of the new domestic network