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Korean Air named ‘2021 Airline of the Year’ by Air Transport World

June 29, 2021 - 15:42 By Yim Hyun-su
A Korean Air plane is parked at Incheon International Airport, South Korea‘s main gateway, west of Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s national flag carrier Korean Air has been named the airline of the year by aviation publication Air Transport World, the company said Tuesday.

The Seoul-based airline was chosen by an independent board of ATW and Aviation Week Networks editors and analysts for its leadership and ability to stay profitable throughout last year despite the industry’s unprecedented crisis during the pandemic, it said.

A “remarkable” relationship with employees that allowed the company to avoid any involuntary furloughs last year also helped secure the spot, Aviation Week Network said.

Korean Air was one of the few airlines in the world that posted profits in the midst of a global pandemic last year by pivoting to the air cargo business, a move that helped ensure the company to stay profitable every quarter in 2020.

“We are so honored to receive ATW ’s prestigious Airline of the Year award. This award is a tribute to our employees for their dedication, sacrifices and loyalty, especially during the tumultuous past year,” Korean Air Chairman and CEO Walter Cho said

ATW Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker congratulated the airline as she said “Korean Air and its team of dedicated employees have truly demonstrated excellence across the board.”

Marking its 47th year, the award will be present the top honor to the airline during the 47th annual ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards which is set to take place on October 5 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The airline said on Tuesday it will be working with regulators around the world to continue the review process for its acquisition of Asiana Airlines.