Korean Air's John E. Jackson III.
Last night, Korean Air celebrated its new Los Angeles/Sao Paulo service at the LAX Flight Path Museum & Learning Center in Los Angeles. Beginning June 2, Korean Air will fly nonstop three times a week from Incheon to Los Angeles to Sao Paulo, using B777-200 jets.
Travel Agent spoke with John E. Jackson III, director of passenger marketing and sales, Americas, American regional headquarters, Korean Air. “We’re getting a very positive reaction to the new flight,” said Jackson. “Sales are starting to build. Business to Sao Paulo books later than I expected – about a quarter of the business is booking one week out.”
Jackson shared that Sao Paulo has about a million Japanese residents and 800,000 Chinese. “China is the biggest trading partner with Brazil and we’re excited about the possibilities,” he said.
Jackson also gave us a heads up about future plans for Korean Air. “We’re looking to expand even further in Latin America on the whole, with Mexico City being at the top of the list,” he said.
The carrier is also considering adding three new cities in the U.S. “We’re looking at Detroit, Miami and either Newark or Houston,” said Jackson. “These are all cities where our SkyTeam partners already are.”
Korean Air, like all other carriers, took a hit from the rise in fuel prices. “Rising fuel prices turned a profit into a loss during the first quarter of 2008,” said Jackson. Last month, the carrier raised its fuel surcharge for flights between the mainland and Korea from $75 to $90, and from $100 to $125 for flights beyond Korea.
“We have to continue to find new markets to grow,” says Jackson.