Seoul, February 17, 2003 - Star Alliance?, the airline network for Earth, is set for a major enhancement of its global coverage with the joining of Asiana Airlines on March 1, 2003. The Korean carrier will add a significant number of North Asian routes to the Star Alliance network, including its comprehensive domestic services as well as numerous routes to mainland China.
“Our newest member Asiana Airlines is a premier carrier in the region, renowned for its customer service, innovation and leadership,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO, Star Alliance. “We are proud to have Asiana on board. With the addition of this great airline, Star Alliance is taking a major step forward in North Asia. By having Asiana as a member, Star Alliance has now established a firm foothold in Korea which is one of the fastest-growing markets of the world.”ÊÊÊÊÊÊ
Asiana Airlines was established in 1988. Today, 15 years later, the carrier is ranked among the 40 largest scheduled carriers in the world with some 12 million passengers per year and a fleet of 65 modern aircraft. Its revenue growth rate over the past five years has averaged an astonishing 19.3 per cent. In 2002, Asiana made a net profit of US$ 170 million.
Asiana’s domestic network spans 12 cities and 18 routes, which will add a whole new dimension to the Star Alliance network. Almost eight million passengers are carried on Asiana’s domestic flights each year.
From Seoul, the carrier fliesÊ to 13 destinations in Japan, and it operates the largest connection to mainland China with 13 cities being served, including Hong Kong. Asiana also operates trans-Pacific to the U.S., and has an extensive network to Southeast Asia and Oceania. In Europe, two cities are being served.
“Asiana’s membership of Star Alliance will bring considerable benefits to our customers,” said Jaan Albrecht. “We will now be able to offer the best network of any alliance in North Asia, including mainland China. Asiana will be an invaluable asset to Star Alliance.”