Korean Air celebrated its 40th anniversary and announced its slogan for the year and business goals for year 2019 (its 50th anniversary) at a commemorative event at its world headquarters in Seoul.

Privatized from state-run Korean Air Lines on March 1, 1969, Korean Air started with just eight small airplanes and was a practically unknown regional carrier.’ Forty years later, Korean Air operates a fleet of 130(1) aircraft to 116 destinations in 39 countries around the world.

For 40 years, Korean Air aircraft flew over 5.87 billion kilometers. The distance is equivalent to circling the earth 146,700 times, or 7,700 roundtrips between Earth and the moon. The accumulated number of passengers so far adds up to 472.51 million and the airline has carried over 27.3 million tons of cargo over the years.

‘It is my sincere desire to make Korean Air a strong company that can endure any challenge, by focusing on the growth and strengthening of our fundamental values,’ said Korean Air Chairman and CEO Yang Ho Cho.

The new slogan ‘Beyond 40 Years of Excellence’ stands in line with the corporate mission of Excellence in Flight and expresses the airline’s goal to further pursue its vision ‘to be a respected leader in the world airline community’ with an innovative and youthful spirit.

Chairman Cho emphasized that he will ‘make this year, our 40th anniversary, a new beginning of our advancement.’

On its 40th anniversary, Korean Air looked towards the future rather than reminiscing in the past, and set a goal to accomplish when it reaches its 50th anniversary. Korean Air predicts it will increase the number of air cargo tons carried per year from 1.66 million last year to 2.5 million by 2019.

The current fleet count of 130 will be increased to more than 180 by 2019.

The airline will continue to focus on developing high-potential new markets, enlarging its network to 140 destinations across six continents including Africa, South America and Europe. It also will expand its business to logistics-related projects, such as the Navoi Airport Development Project in Uzbekistan, and cargo airline joint venture Grandstar, to maximize its logistics know-how and secure a broader base of growth.