Korean’s Cho mixes it up with Arnie

Being an airline boss means you get to mix with pretty important types rather frequently. And, in some quarters, it doesn’t come more important than mixing it up with the Governor of California, Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Korean Air’s enterprising chairman YH Cho was the one getting to meet one of the world’s most high-profile politicians recently as the two made it big with the smiles over the ritzy Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles.

Many airlines have got rid of their hotel affiliates, but not Korean Air. It owns the Wilshire and is keen to give it a major facelift.

Schwarzenegger met Cho to personally thank him for Korean’s ongoing commitment and investments in California.

The press release says the Governor offered his office’s assistance to help cut “red tape” in an effort to expedite Korean Air’s $1 billion plan to redevelop the Wilshire.

“Los Angeles is Korean Air’s second home and we’re grateful for the ongoing investments and subsequent job creation as a result of the Chairman’s commitment to LA and California as a whole,” said Schwarzenegger. “In exchange, I have pledged our State’s continued support and will instruct my Office of Economic Development to help cut through any red tape to ensure we can get shovels in the ground at Wilshire and Grand as soon as possible.”

As clear a case of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” as you’d care to find.

Check out our cover interview with Mr Cho here.

Sorry. so far we have never done one with Mr Schwarzenegger.

And, as a footnote, Korean operates 24 flights a week between LA and Korean and claims to be the largest transpacific carrier out of the LA.

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