Last year, the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) came out with an idea of setting up a collective promotion hall for local companies at the Expo. It made the offer to a number of domestic companies and selected a total of 12 businesses willing to participate in the project. Each participant paid up to 3 billion won.
But Hanjin Group, the parent of Korean Air and Korea’s ninth largest conglomerate, was not included on the list. Korean Air officials say they did not receive a proposal from KITA, saying that it would have taken part in the Expo if it had been given the chance.
A Korean Air spokesman said, "It is unfortunate that KITA did not make us an offer. If it had done so, our marketing team would have participated in the Expo, along with other leading local companies. But we have already established a strong presence in China and carried out a number of corporate social responsibility-related activities. Chinese consumers see us as one of the most responsible and local-friendly foreign airlines.”
The opposition, Asiana, is there.
Korean Times reported that a spokesman for the Asiana Airline said, "We made the right decision to take part in the setup of the exhibition hall. As part of Kumho Asiana Group, Asiana Airlines is introduced to thousands of visitors through visual presentations every day.”