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S. Korean airlines finding innovative ways to survive pandemic Updated: 2021-05-12 08:24:41 KST

"Can you show me your ticket please?"

"I'm in front of a boarding gate with my airline ticket -- and it seems like I'm all ready to board a flight. But in fact, I'm not at an airport, but at a cafe in Hongdae, which serves in-flight meals."

South Korean carrier Jeju Air has opened this cafe for those missing air travel.
A kind greeting from the flight attendants, mock plane windows and popular in-flight meals could bring back memories of flights to exotic places without having to board an actual plane.

"I guess the fact that I can enjoy the excitement of boarding a plane here makes this in-flight meal even better here."

This drawing from customers saying "cheer up aviation industry" shows how this place could bridge the gap until life gets back to normal.

"All the flight attendants here including me were very touched and I hope the pandemic ends soon so I can serve the customers up in the air again."

COVID-19 has halted most of overseas travel, but not the actual flights.
As the number of South Koreans travelling overseas plummeted by 84.2 percent last year Korean Air took the seats out of some passenger planes and turned them into cargo planes.
More than 4,500 flights carried freight instead of passengers in 2020, including the COVID-19 vaccines that require complex technology like cold-chain systems.

"We received an international standard verification for pharmaceutical logistics. We are also one of the leading carriers for handling special cargo that requires high tech including artworks from the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay."

While the carrier's sales from passenger flights decreased by 74 percent last year,.cargo sales were up 66 percent.
Thanks to this, while airlines around the world posted losses, Korean Air in 2020 managed to post an operating profit of 2-hundred-13 million U.S. dollars.
Many people are hoping that air travel can soon get back to normal as the vaccine rollout picks up pace, but until then, airlines will keep looking for innovative ways to stay in business.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News
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