Korean Air’s New IT System Enables Remote Working Amid Pandemic

A new IT system has improved the efficiency of Korean Air's staff as many work remotely amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Credit: Joe Pries

Korean Air’s transition to a cloud-based IT network has improved its employees’ ability to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis, the South Korean airline said.

The flag carrier introduced a telecommuting policy Feb. 27 for its office-based administration staff. These employees account for 17%—or 3,500—of its total workforce and most of them are now working from home.

Workers in remote and corporate locations alike are using Google’s G Suite software platform, enabled by the company’s migration to a cloud-based network which began last year.

Korean Air switched to G Suite—which includes document editing and storage, email, messenger, shared calendars, and video meetings—as its main internal system in July 2019. It is allowing employees to “directly exchange ideas and obtain approvals regardless of their location,” Korean Air said. G Suite has also “brought a more efficient, horizontal organizational corporate culture to the company.”

Employees have said the system is allowing them to participate in multiple meetings at once when necessary, and to download files via a shared drive. Sensitive information such as the company's revenue management system can be accessed through a virtual private network.

In November 2018, Korean announced it would migrate all of its IT applications and data to a cloud-based network, using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud in collaboration with South Korean IT service provider LG CNS. The company opened a cloud command center in 2019 to oversee the transition.

Korean Air is scheduled to complete the full migration of its systems to the cloud by 2021. This is expected to enable new applications such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, customized data management, internet of things and new passenger services.

Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.