Korean Air is the largest South Korean airline with headquarters in the city of Seoul. Contemplated among the most outstanding of Asia, serves connections to Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, North America and South America in addition to starting operations shortly to Peru from its international hub in the Inchon International Airport and its domestic hub in Gimpo International Airport. The company competes for the largest airline in the country with Asiana Airlines, with a smaller number of fleet.
The company started in 1962 in lieu of the former national airline of the country with destinations to Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States. The airline is currently a member of the SkyTeam alliance, it has been improving its fleet and services for which it has won various international awards for its excellence.
The airline was founded in 1962 with the name of Korean Air Lines (KAL) by the Korean State with public capital in its totality and it replaced the former flagship airline of the country, Korean National Airlines. By the year 1969 it was acquired by the Hajin transport group and is now in hands of private capital.
It operated major international routes to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Los Angeles making use of Boeing 707 aircraft until the inclusion in 1973 of the Boeing 747, one of the more planes used by it, that year, the airline used the aircraft on its Pacific routes and began to operate service to Europe using the B 707 in addition to previous DC-10 with destination to Paris. In addition, the airline was the first to buy Airbus aircraft outside of Europe.
The company introduced on March 1, 1984, a new official paint for its planes with its characteristic blue at the top, in addition, changed its official name to the current name (although the previous name is still used in official documents). The first airplane to make use of the new name and paint was its Fokker 28. The painting was designed jointly by the airline and Boeing.
The company became the first airline, in 1986, to make use of the new MD-11 to supplement its Boeing 747-400, however, the plane did not reach the necessary requirements for the company with the MD-11 aircraft were converted to charge in conjunction with the Boeing 747 cargo.
The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, which started in 2000 as the first airline alliance of the world. It also maintains programs of code-sharing arrangements with other airlines. In addition, the airline is a partner of skywards, the frequent flyer program from Emirates airline and Sri Lankan Airlines. Members of skywards can earn miles by flying with the airline and can change these by free flights.
The airline operates 99 passenger aircraft and 18 cargo aircraft for a total of 117 aircraft highlighting the use of the Boeing 747 as the main plane of the company. The airline has been positioned as the leading commercial airline of loading operations by IATA for two consecutive years (2004 – 2005).