Airport Invites CEOs to VIP Lounge
By Kim Rahn
If you're a female CEO of a small company, you're advised to apply for access to airport VIP rooms, as you have the highest chance of being selected.
Incheon International Airport Corp. has recently started collecting applications for the premium service to be offered to businesspeople, following guidelines from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
The ministry is taking its cue from President Lee Myung-bak's promise to build an environment favorable to businesspeople, including opening airport VIP rooms for corporate officials. The airport corporation has set up a room exclusively for CEOs, separate from the previous one for politicians and ranking government officials.
A total of 1,000 businesspeople will benefit, with the authorities selecting the first 400 in April and the rest in June.
The ministry decided to give 70 percent of the quota to CEOs of small- or mid-sized firms and the rest to heads of large-sized firms. Also, 60 percent will be open to companies in Seoul and nearby metropolitan areas, and the rest to firms in other provinces. Considering many are located around Seoul, CEOs of mid-sized firms in other provinces have a higher chance of being selected to enjoy the VIP room.
Firms must be mid-sized with more than 100 employees or large with 1,000 or more workers to be eligible. Also, companies that saw more than 15 percent annual growth in exports for the last three years may apply.
Additional points will be given to companies that donated more than 1 billion won to charity over the last three years, attracted more than $1 million of investment, or received government awards. Female or disabled CEOs have a higher chance of being selected.
However, companies that have been indicted or fined more than three times within the last two years in violation of fair trade laws are not qualified to apply. Firms that have failed to pay tax within the last three years will also be excluded.
CEOs with histories of tax evasion over the last five years and other crimes will also be excluded.
With such restrictions, many CEOs may be disqualified from the premium service as some of them were imprisoned for committing crimes such as illegal political donation.
But such CEOs do not seem to be too concerned as they have had access to airlines' VIP rooms so far.
Those who qualify and wish to apply must contact the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, the Korea International Trade Association, or the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Societies by March 18.