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Asiana Airlines opens lounge for disabled people

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Published : 2011-06-15 18:52
Updated : 2011-06-15 18:52

Asiana Airlines opened the first airport lounge specifically for the disabled at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday.

The company also donated wheelchairs to a support center for the disabled at the ceremony marking the opening of the lounge.

The event was attended by officials from Asiana Airlines, including its chief executive Yoon Young-doo and those from an Incheon-based welfare organization for the disabled, the company said.
Asiana Airlines chief executive Yoon Young-doo (fourth from right) watches as disabled passengers check-in for their flights at the Hansarang Lounge that opened at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)

“I think that the Hansarang Lounge, where customers can check in for their flights, upgrades services for disabled passengers,” Yoon said.

“The company will continue improving its services to ensure that all Asiana passengers can receive the services of the highest quality.”

The lounge, named the Hansarang Lounge, is located near the Asiana Airlines check-in counter on the third floor of Incheon International Airport.

Asiana Airlines said that the Hansarang Lounge was set up to minimize inconvenience to the rising number of disabled passengers.

According to the company, the number of customers with wheelchairs using the airport has been increasing by between 5 percent and 10 percent on an annual basis, and reached 47,000 last year.

As such, the company said it estimates that about 70 disabled passengers will use the new lounge each day.

The company said that in addition to allowing disabled passengers to check in, the lounge is equipped with various entertainment features including DVD players and games. Those using the lounge will also be provided with light snacks and drinks, the company said.

The company also said that organizations for disabled people were consulted in designing the furniture, and in deciding the layout of the lounge to ensure easy access for wheelchairs. The furniture also has rounded corners and there are Braille notices to cater to blind passengers’ needs.

“Bathrooms for the disabled are just about the only special-needs facilities that can be found in Korea, but Asiana Airlines’ setting up a special facility for the disabled is very moving,” Choi Kyung-ryeol, a disabled person taking part in the event was quoted as saying by the company.

“I think the Hansarang Lounge is a meaningful development for the disabled.”

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)

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