29 December 2010, SEOUL, South Korea- Ranked by Business Traveller the best Asian airline for the fourth consecutive year and best transpacific business class for the fifth straight year, Korean Air will launch its first A380 service in May 2011 with the entire upper deck of the aircraft devoted to business class flyers.
Korean Air, with a fleet of 132 aircraft, is one of the world’s top 20 airlines, and operates almost 400 passenger flights per day to 114 cities in 39 countries. It is a founding member of the Sky Team alliance, together with its 13 members, which offers its 395 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 13,000 daily flights covering 898 destinations in 169 countries.
The unique configuration of the two-story A380 aircraft will allow Korean Air business flyers “to feel exclusivity like they’re traveling in their own private jet,” says Senior Vice President and head of the Passenger Business Division of Korean Air Walter Cho. He added “this innovative approach to dedicate an entire floor for a single class will be benchmarked by other airlines.”
Korean Air’s business seating, called Prestige Class, will have 94 lie-flat sleepers with 188cm (74inch) between seats and extra large seat partitions offering what Cho says is “normally the comfort and privacy reserved for First Class passengers on other airlines.”
He says that Korean Air’s A380 is “one of the most spacious in the industry when you consider that our economy class seats are spaced at 86cm (34inch) apart and our Prestige Class pitch is 188cm (74inch). That’s a comfort level that will provide us with a competitive edge.”
The airline’s A380 will have a total of only 407 seats: 12 first class and 301 economy class seats on the first level, and the 94 Prestige Class seats on the upper deck. It is the first airline to devote the entire A380 second level to the business flyer.
Korean Air has ordered ten A380 aircraft with the first five to be delivered by the end of 2011 and an additional five by 2014.
The airline will launch its A380s on short haul routes to Japan and East Asia in May, and then expand to Korean Air’s U.S. and European routes in August 2011.
General Facts and Figures about the Airbus 380