EARLIER THIS MONTH IN LOS ANGELES, we ran into John E. Jackson III, director of passenger marketing and sales, Americas, American regional headquarters, Korean Air, at a Korean Air event at the Sofitel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills. Jackson said the company was close to announcing another gateway. I asked him to narrow it down and he said it would be in South America, in one of four countries: Mexico, Brazil, Chile or Argentina.
After mentally calculating the amount of business these four countries do with Asia, I asked, "Is it safe to say that the Girl from Ippanema will be flying Korean Air?"
Jackson laughed and said, "If you Google new routes and you speak Portuguese, you could probably figure it out."
Jackson also mentioned that Korean Air's China business is going great guns. "January through June this year our passenger counts on our China routes are up fifty percent," said Jackson. "A lot of that is front-of-the-plane business."
Maureen O'Crowley, marketing manager, western region, Korea Tourism Organization, was also at the event. She was anticipating a flight to Korea the next day to address graduates at the Kyung Hee University Graduate School of Tourism. She was also planning to attend an event in honor of one of Korea's most respected shamans, Kim Keum Hwa.
"Many Koreans have embraced Christianity and turned their backs on shamanism (shamans are considered an intermediary between the physical and the spiritual world)," said O'Crowley. "That's unfortunate, because it's a fascinating part of Korea's heritage, no matter what your religious beliefs happen to be."