Asiana Airlines has new GM for Saipan


Asiana Airlines will have a new general manager for Saipan. Park Sung-Nam, left, will be moving back to South Korea to manage Asiana’s new lost cost carrier Air Seoul, while Lee Jong-Hong, right, will be the new general manager for the islands. (Frauleine Villanueva-Dizon)

Asiana Airlines will bid goodbye to its current general manager this week.

Park Sung-nam, who has served the region for four years, will be moving back to Seoul, South Korea as his contract as general manager of the Saipan Regional Office is ending.

“I will be transferred to another operation in Seoul. We plan to launch a new airline, Air Seoul, and I will be responsible for taking over the launching fight in Seoul,” Park said.

Prior to Saipan, Park also served as general manager in Bangkok, Thailand for Asiana Airlines.

“During my stay here for four years, we went through difficult things,” Park said.

He mentioned the problem that Asiana Airlines encountered in 2014 when their flights were suspended after the pilots of flight OZ603 for continuing with a passenger jet flight from Incheon to Saipan despite discovering signs of engine trouble after takeoff.

Park also took note of the challenges that they encountered after Typhoon Soudelor.

Lee Jong-Hong will be taking the place of Park, who will be leaving the island on Feb. 27.

Lee has been with Asiana for 25 years and prior to Saipan has served the Seattle area for the airline.

“I heard about the typhoon and understand the challenges,” Lee said, “Now is a good moment to improve the CNMI and Asiana never forgets to play an important role in bringing more passengers to this society and contributing to the economy of the CNMI.”

Park and Lee said they both strive to get more flights to service Saipan as general managers.

“We strive ourselves to get more flights here. That’s the first step to go forward,” Park said, “We don’t know when it’s going to be but Asiana is always interested in having more flights and bring more passengers to the CNMI.”

Park believes Saipan is getting more and more popular in Asian countries such as Korea and China but there are improvements that have to be made especially at the airport.

“To meet the demand, there are some requirements, I think, especially the airport facilities need to be improved. Once we have the airlines arriving here at the same time, there is a cuing at the immigration which causes some inconvenience for the passengers coming here for the first time,” Park said.

Park added that the waiting areas for passengers need to be more comfortable too.

Park said he learned a lot and gained many good friends on Saipan—that’s why this is a “No. 1” place for him.

“Thank you for all the residents and people who supported Asiana during my stay for the last four years. The experience and friendship you showed to me and all the things that I had here will be cherished in my mind forever and it was very valuable for myself to have that much good experience in the CNMI,” Park said.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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