Sang-Eun Wang celebrated his 90th birthday on 31 March 2010. The Korean businessman has spent almost half his life working with Lufthansa. His company, Hyopsung Corporation, was appointed general agent for the German airline in 1966. The agreement between Lufthansa and Hyopsung is regarded as the oldest of its kind.
"Chairman Wang", as he is respectfully called in Korea, is an honourable man and over the , who over many years has become a loyal and reliable partner for us," says Alejandro Arias, General Manager for Lufthansa Cargo, South Korea.
Chairman Wang can look back on a fascinating life. He was born in Korea in 1920, when the country was still under Japanese colonial rule. In his youth, he experienced the outbreak of the Second World War. Then, as a young adult, he saw how the Korean War brought poverty and destruction to his native country.
Korea’s transformation from a bitterly poor and shattered nation into one of the leading economies took only four decades. Today the tiger state is the ninth-largest exporter worldwide and is a world leader in information technology and steel production as well as in the manufacture of cars and semiconductors. Moreover, South Korea has established a reputation as a major shipbuilding nation. Hyundai Heavy Industries is one of the world’s largest shipyards and churns out ships.
Chairman Wang himself made history as a pioneer of Korea’s shipbuilding industry. In 1951, still during the Korean War, he opened one of the first shipyards in Korea, the Hyopsung Shipping Corporation. The company worked successfully with Japanese shipping companies and became the Korean general agent for 90 percent of the Japanese ships conducting trade in Korea. With the growth of the business and the expansion of trade - also with Europe - Wang had a major influence on the establishment of the Korean shipping industry and helped to shape its development.
Wang succeeded in entering the airline business when he became general agent for Lufthansa in 1966. Howeever, the first Lufthansa flights did not start until 1984, when a passenger-freight combi version of the Boeing 747 flew from Frankfurt to Seoul.
Thanks to Hyposung, Lufthansa Cargo has now become firmly established in the Korean air cargo market and is ranked third after Korean Air and Asiana Airlines on routes to Europe. "Without any doubt, Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo’s success story in South Korea is with the name Hyopsung Airways," General Manager Alejandro Arias says.
Chairman Wang received special recognition in 2002, when a Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 747-200 was named after him. "It is a very rare and exceptional honour in the air cargo sector and it expressed the special relationship between Lufthansa und Chairman Wang in a wonderful way," said Michael Störmer, Director, Japan und Korea. "On behalf of Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo I heartily congratulate Chairman Wang on reaching the grand age of 90. May good health, well-being and happiness continue to be his constant companions," he added.