Korean Air CEO: 2024 a year of “change and innovation”

A Korean Air flight climbs after takeoff.
Photo Credit: Korean Air

As we step into 2024, Korean Air’s Chairman and CEO, Walter Cho, articulates a compelling vision for the aviation industry in his New Year’s message.

In a dynamic landscape marked by both challenges and opportunities, Cho sets the tone for a year that promises significant changes and innovations.

A Vision for Safety and Service


Walter Cho underscores the significance of safety and service in the aviation sector. In the face of global uncertainties such as geopolitical risks, supply chain disruptions, economic slowdowns, and prolonged inflation, Cho emphasizes the need for a solid foundation.

He aptly states, “Innovation without a solid foundation is akin to a castle built on sand,” urging the Korean Air team to consistently cultivate and refine their strengths.

Cho highlights the pivotal role of safety in Korean Air’s operations. In a turbulent world, he calls on his colleagues to play an active role in fostering a robust safety culture.

This commitment not only ensures the well-being of passengers and crew but also reinforces the airline’s resilience in navigating challenges.

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Customer-Centric Services


Acknowledging the shifting dynamics of air travel, Cho stresses the importance of customer-centric services.

In a world where every moment spent with an airline holds heightened value, Cho urges his team to scrutinize the passenger journey comprehensively.

The focus is on identifying and rectifying inconveniences, ensuring an experience that surpasses expectations.

A Korean Air and an Asiana Airlines aircraft both approaching to land.
Hyeonwoo Noh, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Merger with Asiana Airlines


A significant highlight of Cho’s message is the anticipation of the acquisition of Asiana Airlines in 2024.

Despite delays, Cho expresses confidence in the finalization of the merger, envisioning an integrated airline that will serve as a growth engine for Korean Air.

This strategic move positions the airline to stand shoulder to shoulder with global leaders, optimizing networks and providing customers with expanded choices.

The Resilience of People


In a poignant reflection on the pandemic’s impact, Cho recognizes the value of “people” as the core of Korean Air’s success.

With over 20,000 professionals driving the airline forward, Cho sees resilience, strength, and accumulated expertise as the elements that empower the team to overcome any challenge.

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Korean Air CEO Walter Cho has delivered his vision for the industry in his New Year's message citing 2024 as a year of 'change and innovation'
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