The Korea Herald

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Korean Air to start A380 flights in June

By 황장진

Published : Jan. 17, 2011 - 17:33

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Korean Air said Monday it would take delivery of five Airbus A380 superjumbos this year, with the first flight scheduled for June.

The Korean flag carrier said the A380 service between Incheon International Airport and Tokyo’s Narita would start on the morning of June 1, with the plane departing for Hong Kong once it returns from Narita.

It said in a statement the service would be expanded to Bangkok in July once the second aircraft arrives. The third A380 would launch a service to New York from August, and the fourth A380 to Los Angeles in October. 
Airbus A380 superjumbo. (Korean Air) Airbus A380 superjumbo. (Korean Air)

“The introduction of the superjumbo aircraft is expected to increase the number of passengers from China, Japan and East Asia transferring to the U.S. and Europe, accelerating Incheon International Airport’s goal of becoming a global aviation hub,” it said.

The airline, which placed its first order for the double-decker Airbus planes in 2003, said five of the 10 A380s it has ordered would be delivered by the end of 2011 and the rest by 2014.

A380s can carry 525 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and more than 800 in a single-class lay out, according to Airbus. The plane, which Airbus says is more-fuel efficient than older jets, has a list price of $346 million, though airlines get discounts for multiple purchases.

Korea’s second biggest carrier Asiana Airlines announced Jan. 6 it would buy six A380s for use on routes to Europe and the United States.

The order is worth 2 trillion won ($1.78 billion) at list prices and deliveries will begin from April 2014. The airline said it was still to decide whether it will order engines from Rolls-Royce Group Plc or a Pratt & Whitney and General Electric Co. venture.

Asiana will use the double-decker planes on flights to the U.S. and Europe in a bid to lure business travelers from Korean Air. Skymark Airlines Inc., Japan’s biggest discount carrier, also in November said it plans to order as many as 15 A380s as demand for the plane withstands delivery disruptions following a mid-air engine explosion.

Asiana ordered 30 Airbus A350 planes, worth $7.2 billion at list prices, in 2008. The airline expects to take delivery of those aircraft from 2016. The deal also included options for 10 more. The carrier has 70 aircraft, including freighters, according to the company.

(From news reports)