October 29, 2004 —
Y.H. Cho, chairman of Korean Air, chairman of the Inha Foundation and USC trustee, who brought the partners together to establish the new Aerospace Institute for Engineering Research.
Seoul, Korea -- Airbus, the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, Inha University and Hankuk Aviation University of Korea agreed today to establish the Aerospace Institute for Engineering Research (AIER) in Korea.
Yang-Ho Cho, a USC trustee, chairman and chief executive of Korean Air and chairman of the Inha Foundation; John Leahy, chief commercial officer of Airbus; Lloyd Armstrong, USC provost; C. L. Max Nikias, dean of the USC Viterbi School; Seoung-Yong Hong, president of Inha University and Soon-Kil Hong, president of Hankuk Aviation University all participated in the signing ceremony in Seoul today.
Airbus will invest a total of $5 million in the new Institute, which will conduct research projects in the field of advanced aeronautical engineering and technology.
“With Korean Air being Airbus’ oldest customer outside Europe and fuselage parts for the A330/A340 family having been manufactured by Korean Air Aerospace for many years, Airbus is particularly pleased to extend its relationship with Korea into the area of engineering research,” said Leahy. “Korea has an outstanding reputation in the field of advanced research and development and Airbus looks forward to applying the institute’s innovations into its advanced range of commercial airliners in the future.”
Leahy said that a successful record of pioneering new technology in an evolutionary and responsible manner to ensure better aircraft performance, lower operating costs, easier handling and greater comfort was the cornerstone of Airbus’ success in the marketplace. He added that it enabled Airbus aircraft to retain a strong competitive edge and that the innovations translated into immediate benefits for customers, operators, pilots, crews and passengers.
“Soon joint projects bringing together our complementary knowledge and skills will be advancing aviation and aerospace around the world,” said Nikias, who also praised Y.H. Cho’s “genius” for bringing all of AIER’s partners together. “He is a humanitarian who sees borders as just something to cross. He’s also a talented engineer with a passion for education and new technologies.”
Korean Air placed its first order with Airbus in 1974 and currently operates a fleet of 10 A300s and 19 A330s. The airline has also signed a contract for the purchase of five A380 aircraft and will initially introduce that aircraft on high density traffic routes from Seoul to the US West Coast.
Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the US, China and Japan.