MANILA -- South Korea's flag carrier Korean Air (KE) celebrates its 50th year this month, with more bold and exciting plans awaiting travelers.

So Yeon Park, Korean Air's Global Communication Team assistant manager, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that continuous upgrade, new fleets, a new route and special events are among the things that the public can look forward to from KE this year.

"For the next 50 years, we will make Korean Air experience more welcoming for our customers," Park said, noting that KE pursues service differentiation from other airlines through continuous investment.

"We keep upgrading our fleet by introducing high-efficient aircraft, and we pursue service efficiency by operating our fleet based on the traits of each route," she added.

Beginning April, KE will introduce the B737 MAX 8, and would have six units of these this year. The carrier will also introduce a brand new A321Neo either by the end of 2019 or early next year. It's still undecided how many units of A321Neo will be on hand for this year, according to Park.

On April 12, KE will launch flights between Boston and Korea five times a week. The executive added that KE's joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines, will also open a new route to Minneapolis this year.

"It has been almost a year since we launched a joint venture with Delta in May 2018. Through this joint venture, KE was able to strengthen (its presence in) the trans-Pacific network. Now we can connect with over 290 destinations through the Americas, and over 80 destinations throughout Asia, offering wider schedule options, with reduced transit time," she said.

Quality service

Park said KE tries to maintain high service quality by analyzing customer feedback and by investing in employees' training.

The airline keeps a multi-way communication with its customers and also puts continuous efforts in maintaining network competitiveness, she added.

"Our utmost priority is to maximize customer satisfaction," Park noted.

KE will be hosting the IATA Annual General Meeting in June. Park said this is widely called as the "UN Conference in the Aviation Industry". Thus, the carrier looks forward to the opportunity to showcase KE's leadership in international aviation industry, she said.

Special events

To celebrate KE's first international flight since its privatization 50 years ago, the carrier will mount a special flight for Incheon to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, similar to the flight it did in 1969.

For this special flight on April 23, flight attendants will wear past uniforms "to bring back the memory," Park said.

Also in line with the 50th anniversary, KE has an ongoing special online event in Southeast Asia and Oceania regions.

Among these online events are a lucky draw for customers who purchase tickets online, as well as a voting event for customers' favorite past cabin crew uniforms.

Meanwhile, Park said there is no plan yet to increase flight frequencies between Korea and the Philippines. From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) alone, KE serves the Manila-Incheon route 18 times a week. (PNA)