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Korean Air CEO wins ATW leadership award

June 4, 2023 - 16:32 By Shim Woo-hyun
Hanjin Group Chairman Walter Cho, who doubles as Korean Air CEO, delivers an acceptance speech for winning the Excellence in Leadership Award, given by Air Transport World, at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Istanbul on Friday. (Korean Air)

Hanjin Group Chairman and Korean Air CEO Walter Cho received the Excellence in Leadership Award by Air Transport World, the company said Sunday.

The award ceremony was held at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, on Friday, Korean Air said.

The award was established in 1974 by ATW, a publication covering global air transportation, and is one of the most prominent awards in the industry, Korean Air said.

Cho has expanded his presence in the global aviation industry since 2019 when he took office as Korean Air CEO and was named as board chair of the SkyTeam global alliance and a member of the International Air Transport Association’s board of governors.

ATW also held Cho in high regard for his ability to overcome difficulties during the pandemic, as well as his leadership in executing Korean Air’s decision to merge with Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest airline.

Under Cho’s leadership, Korean Air posted record high profits both in 2021 and 2022.

If the merger with Asiana Airlines is completed, Korean Air will be also able to step up as one of the world’s top 10 airlines.

“I would like to thank ATW for giving such a big award. I would like to share my honor with all Korean Air employees and clients, as well as the company’s biggest partner, Delta Air Lines,” Cho said upon receiving the award.

With Cho’s latest feat, Korea Air has won recognition at the ATW award for three years in a row. In 2021, the company was named airline of the year, and in 2022 it was named cargo operator of the year.