Korean Air’s first of four A380 aircraft is in final production at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, and delivery is expected in May.
Korean Air will be the first Asian airline to use the aircraft on transpacific routes and the double-decker airplane will be outfitted with between 400 and 450 seats, making it the most spacious A380 anywhere.
“The reduced seating layout will expand cabin space and provide customers with a truly luxurious air travel experience,” says Korean Air’s Americas Marketing Director, John Jackson. “We are designing the cabin to promote relaxing air travel, and will incorporate some unique features to be revealed later.”
Korean Air is the 6th carrier to introduce the A380 into its fleet, however, it will be the first airline to fly it between the US and Asia.
Korean Air has ordered 10 A380 aircraft. In addition to the May delivery, the airline’s second, third and fourth A380s are scheduled to be delivered to Korean Air next June, July and August. From 2012~2014, additional aircraft will be introduced, bringing the total to ten.
At the outset, the airline will operate the aircraft for short-haul routes to major cities in Japan and East Asia. Next August, the A380 will start servicing Korean Air’s long-haul routes to the US and Europe.
With the new A380 service, Korean Air – already America’s largest airline to Asia – will ensure its dominance on the transpacific corridor and increase its competitiveness for Asia-Europe routes, Jackson said.
The introduction of the super jumbo aircraft is expected to also increase passengers from China, Japan, and East Asia transferring to the US and Europe, accelerating Incheon International Airport’s goal of becoming a global aviation hub.
Although the A380 is the largest commercial passenger aircraft in the world, it has a reduced weight using composite materials and enjoys enhanced engine efficiency by lowering fuel consumption by 15% and CO2 emission by 20%.