By Duncan Mackay in Seoul

Sheikh Ahmad_Al-Fahad_Al-Sabah_signs_sponsorship_deal_with_Korean_Air_for_Incheon_2014March 19 - Korean Air has become the official sponsor of the 17th Asian Games to be held in Incheon in 2014, it was announced here today.

Korean Air signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to officially sponsor the 2014 Incheon Asian Games at the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Advisory Board meeting in Bangkok.

It was signed by Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, the President of the OCA, Yang Ho Cho, the chairman and chief executive of Korean Air, and Yong-soo Kim, the President of Incheon 2014. 

Korean Air, as the official and highest-ranking sponsor, the "Prestige Partner" of the Games, will underwrite air tickets, luggage and most areas related to air transport as well as help in the construction of Wang San Marina which will be used during the Games.

The Hanjin Group, the South Korean conglomerate which includes Korean Air and Hanjin Shipping, will also give its full support and construct a brand new hotel to accommodate participating squads.

The Games, which are due to start on September 19 in 2014 and last until October 4 that year, are expected to feature nearly 10,000 athletes from 45 countries competing in 437 events in 36 sports.

Cho is currently acting as an advisor to Incheon 2014 having last year led Pyeongchang's successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Incheon was awarded the Games in April 2007 when it defeated New Delhi to host the Games and is the third South Korean city after Seoul in 1986 and Busan in 2002 to host the event.

The deal with Korean Air was one of two, estimated at being worth $30 million (£19 million/€23 million) between them, Sheikh Ahmad signed today.

Sheikh Ahmad_Al-Fahad_Al-Sabah_signs_deal_with_SK_for_Incheon_2014

The OCA President, who was accompanied by Singapore's International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Ng Ser Miang, also signed an MoU with SK, the third largest conglomerate in South Korea, as the energy and telecommunications partner of the 2014 Asian Games.

Following the construction of the arena for handball last year, SK Group founded SK Lubricants Women's Handball Club by acquiring Yongin City women's team this year.

In addition, SK has been manages a variety of professional sports team such as SK Wyverns Baseball Club, SK Knights Basketball Club and Jeju United soccer team.

The two Korean companies now join 361°, Chinese sportswear ccompany, who signed to become a sponsor last July.

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