|The Asiana 380 special edition|
Asiana Airlines on Friday held a launch event for its second A380 jumbo jet at Incheon International Airport, following the acquisition of its first in May.
“With the takeover of the second superjumbo jet, I expect more customers will enjoy safer and more convenient long-haul flights with us,” said Kim Soo-cheon, CEO of the nation’s second-largest flag carrier.
As part of its upscale push, Asiana has operated its first A380, Airbus’ double-decker luxury aircraft, on short-distance flights to Tokyo and Hong Kong.
With the second A380, the air carrier said it is elevating service quality in the mid- to long-haul flights to Osaka and Bangkok from July 29 and Los Angeles from Aug. 20.
The company plans to have six A380 planes by 2017.
The “Asiana A380 special edition” has 495 passenger seats, including 12 first-class, 66 business and 417 economy seats.
The first-class suite comes equipped with two sliding doors for better privacy, while the business seats offer a cozy staggered formation. The economy class seats also offer more space and convenience.
Asiana hopes to achieve up to 6 trillion won ($5.8 billion) in sales and 180 billion won in operating profit. Early this year the CEO said he believes the airline will secure up to 16.5 million passengers this year.
Operating the more fuel-efficient A380 planes is expected to help reduce annual costs by 10 billion won to 20 billion won, Kim said.
Aside from the A380, the company will adopt eight A350 aircraft in the coming years so that eventually premium large models will make up almost 60 percent of its planes.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org