Asiana links up with Chinese schools for underprivileged

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 8, 2012 - 20:48
  • Updated : Aug 8, 2012 - 20:48
This is the first in a series of articles featuring companies’ social contribution activities at home and abroad. ―Ed.

Asiana Airlines, the Korean air carrier with the most routes to China, has started a social contribution program this year supporting underdeveloped schools in the country’s suburban areas.

On July 10, a team consisting of Asiana officials and members of the Korea International Cooperation Agency arrived at a small school in the city of Dalian Wafangdian in Liaoning Province, northeastern China.

As part of an agreement signed between the Laohutun Town Central Primary School and Asiana Airlines, they delivered essential school items, including 42 computers, 1,000 books, a piano, a projector and a photocopier.

“Because the school is located in a suburban area, it has been extremely difficult for us to get help from outside the town. The new friendship with Asiana will really improve the children’s educational environment here,” the school principal said through Asiana officials. 
Asiana Airlines president Yoon Young-doo talks with students at Tumen No. 5 Middle School in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province. (Asiana Airlines)

This was the latest initiative of Asiana’s new global social contribution project, “One School for One Route,” which will select 21 partner schools in China over the next three years.

Starting in March, Asiana has set up friendship ties with four schools as of July.

They are Tumen No. 5 Middle School in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province; Jiutai Korean Ethnic Minority Schoo in Changchun, Jilin; and Weihai Banyuewan Primary School in Weihai, Shandong Province.

Compared to other Korean air carriers, Asiana Airlines has showed strength in short-distance routes to neighboring countries like China, Japan and Southeast Asia.

China, in particular, is a country where the air carrier is stepping up efforts to expand its market presence due to the soaring number of business passengers traveling between Korea and China.

Asiana now operates the largest number of routes to 21 Chinese cities among Korean airlines, with 203 one-way flights being launched every month.

Asiana, which has been named one of the most favored air carriers in a series of surveys in China, says it is the company’s turn to give back. And one of the ideas was the program helping struggling schools and children.

“We will continue our social contribution activities in the environment and education sectors in China in order to fulfill our responsibility as a global company and to contribute to enhancing Korea’s national brand power,” said Asiana Airlines president Yoon Young-doo.

Asiana has carried out diverse social contribution activities all around the world.

In cooperation with the Korea National Commission for UNESCO, the company has promoted cultural preservation in areas where they operate flights, while helping set up tourism infrastructure near world heritage sites.

In Da Nang, Vietnam, Asiana supported the renovation work of the Hoi An Center for Heritage Management and Preservation and other activities like publishing tourist brochures for the heritage site in Vietnamese, Korean and English.

In 2010, the company also installed 30 solar power light poles near the world heritage-designated Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap Province, some 300 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the protection of the site and the safety of tourists.

By Lee Ji-yoon (