▲ Officials from the Korean Society of Dallas expressed their great expectations for the Dallas-Seoul route during a one-on-one interview with American’s Chief Commercial Officer Virasb Vahidi.
[Original post date: January 18, 2013]
It’s still the patriotic Red, White and Blue. But it’s also a powerful new look for the future as the airline embarks on a new era of global competition.
American Airlines Inc. unveiled its much anticipated new logo and livery at the DFW International Airport last Thursday, where tens of news reporters and community leaders were in attendance to take a peak at the new airplane.
A Boeing 777-300 with the new logo and livery was in display at the news conference, which was held at the DFW International Airport under tight security.
American Airlines will start flying the plane on January 31. The one that will fly into Seoul in May is 777-200. It was the first time since 1968 for the airline to rebrand itself with new livery and logo. The rebranding effort comes at a time when many changes are happening for the airline.
While American Airlines is in the final stage of the merger talks with US Airways, the new international route between Dallas and Seoul is the hot topic among the Korean-Americans in Dallas Fort Worth area.
A dozen of Korean-American reporters and community leaders were invited to the news conference. They showed a great deal of interest and anticipation for the Dallas-Seoul route, which is scheduled for launch in May.
When asked about what the Dallas-Seoul service means for the company, American Airlines President and CEO Tom Horton said it was only a natural addition to AA’s Asian market.
"Seoul is one of the most important business markets in the world. And Korea is a fast growing industrialized nation. So it was really a natural addition to our Asia network. And serving it out of DFW creates enormous amount of feed traffic", said Horton.
Horton also emphasized the job opportunities that the new Dallas-Seoul route will create for the Korean-Americans in various parts of the company, including sales and marketing.
During the one-on-one interview session with Korean-American reporters, Rob Friedman, AA’s V.P. of Marketing, talked about AA’s strong relationship with all communities, but with particular emphasis on the Korean-American community.
"American has strong interest in maintaining close relationship with all communities and Korean-American community is certainly an important one for us" said Friedman.
When asked why AA chose to add Dallas-Seoul route, American’s Chief Commercial Officer Virasb Vahidi said "We have been targeting Korea all along. We can leverage our partnership with Japan Airlines and its presence and expertise in Korea."
Ted Kim, who is the Vice President of the Korean Society of Dallas, welcomed AA’s new look and its direct flight service to Seoul.
"The fact that American Airlines is going to Seoul tells you how important Korea has become in the global economy" said Kim.
"We, as Korean-Americans, already know that Korea is an important player in the global market but it’s always good to have someone outside our community to recognize that."
Kim pointed out Vahidi’s comment about the importance of Korean market. "As Mr. Vahidi mentioned, American Airlines already has a relationship with the Korean Air. But they felt that it was important enough to, in some ways, put some pressure on the relationship by launching AA’s own Dallas-Seoul route. So, Korean-Americans should be proud of the new service. That’s huge for us", said Kim.
Along with the new, fresh, modernized look of American Airlines, Dallas-Korean Americans are welcoming the business and personal opportunities that the new Dallas-Seoul route will bring.
"It will create additional business and personal opportunities as people have more choices. It will also grow Korean footprint in Dallas. It’s a win for Dallas and win for our community" said Kim.
Tony Chai / firstname.lastname@example.org