January 16 2023  |  People

Korean Air’s Walter Cho emphasizes importance of gaining competitive edge

By Stephanie Philp

Korean Air’s Chairman and CEO, Walter Cho

Korean Air’s Chairman and CEO, Walter Cho, is emphasizing the importance of gaining a competitive edge as the industry begins to normalize after the height of the pandemic.

“We’ve seen a glimpse of normalization and the airports are beginning to bustle with passengers we have missed dearly,” Cho said in his New Year’s address on January 2. “We need to identify in advance our customers’ preferred destinations and services, and analyze when and where to add operations as well as which services to enhance.”

Amidst growing economic uncertainties, Cho assured that Korean Air is confident and ready to move forward. “There have been numerous challenges on our way, but we’ve always overcome and leveraged them to create new opportunities. We’re armed with more than half a century of experience and will use this insight to address our future.”

In the statement, Cho also underscored the importance of Korean Air’s environment, social and governance (ESG) duties as an integral part of being a responsible member of society. “ESG management is no longer a choice, but mandatory to the survival of our future,” he said. “We’ve always been committed to the well-being of our society. Introducing eco-friendly aircraft, reducing waste through increased in-cabin recycling, and operating an ESG committee to improve governance are all part of our efforts to support our social responsibility. We will not stop here, but continue to make Korean Air a responsible company that fulfills its corporate responsibilities and is beloved by its customers.”

Cho also confirmed the company’s plans to successfully complete the acquisition of Asiana Airlines in 2023.

“While the future demands more wisdom from us than ever, we will continue on our path as we always have.”

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