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Korean Air Offers Professor Hwang Free First-Class Service

Korean Air Offers Professor Hwang Free First-Class Service

Posted June. 04, 2005 06:44,   


Korean Airlines (KAL) has offered professor Hwang Woo-suk of Seoul National University a free airline ticket with which Hwang can fly in top-class seats for all its routes at home and abroad over the next 10 years.

In addition, KAL will help Hwang to transport a variety of experimental materials, including a gnotobiotic (sterilized) pig, calf, and somatic cells.

On June 3, president Cho Yang-ho of KAL presented a research supporting certificate base on the above mentioned matter to Hwang at the Korean Air building in Seosomun-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul.

Accordingly, KAL will provide the highest level of service to Hwang by letting a staff member help Hwang to check in at the airport, and allowing Hwang to use an airport lounge. This service will invariably be applied when Hwang boards a plane with his wife.

Professor Hwang made approximately 20 official trips abroad last year, and is expected to go on five official trips abroad this month alone. Hwang will have to spend one third of the year in a laboratory in foreign countries, including around 40 official trips aboard by the end of this year.

Professor Hwang said, “So far, I have only used economy-class: now I can fly in first-class or business-class for the first time in my life,” and added that he will recompense the Korean public with a “special-class” level of research achievements by pushing harder to do research while flying in first-class seats.

Although professor Hwang has been receiving several billion won in financial support, he has always used economy-class seats for his business trips abroad because he is limited by research costs.

Regarding the 10-year period of his free airline ticket, Hwang joked, saying that he thinks KAL wants him to return the free airline ticket in case he makes no research achievements, so he will try hard to get support, even after 10 years.

In response to professor Hwang’s joke, Cho said that the 10-year fixed period means the company wants Hwang to go abroad in a private plane in 10 years.

Back in 2002, KAL offered the coach of former national soccer team, Guus Hiddink, free and limitless international air services for four years, and an actor, Bae Yong-joon has received access to all of the airline’s Korea to Japan routes for free starting last year for three years.

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com