Korean Air Introducing Its Ninth Airbus A380

Korean Air A380

Korean Air now has nine of what some airlines don’t seem to want. That would be the elephantine, double-decker Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft.

As of June 1 there were 324 firm orders for the A380; 132 have been delivered. On its website Airbus list 10 carriers currently flying A380s. A few weeks ago, Delta executives told Reuters they “don’t see an application for the A380 in our network.”

Nonetheless, Korean Air’s ninth A380 is completing some final tests before making its maiden flight on July 6 from Incheon to Atlanta, a route they’ll be flying three times a week. They already operate A380s between Incheon-Los Angeles and Incheon-New York 14 times a week each and Incheon-Paris seven times a week.

Korea’s flagship airline has billed the A380 its “hotel in the sky,” believing its three-class layout with a total of 407 seats is just that. They say it’s the lowest configuration of any A380 operator, even if passengers are stacked like planes waiting to takeoff.

In economy, there are 301 seats with a respectable pitch of 34 inches. For business class they’re devoting the entire upper deck laid out with 94 seats that morph into flat beds, a place they call Prestige Class. Yep, it’s business class only in the nosebleed section. Everybody tucked in because humorlessness can wear you down.

At the front of the lower deck are 12 first-class suites done in steroids. Where a 34-inch pitch would seem like living in a squat. It is here, ma’am or sir, that you find total privacy.

Also on board is a “Celestial Bar” for passengers to schmooze while nursing “exclusive cocktails” during the flight. Maybe some of you VIP Korean Air passengers were part of the cocktail tasting events the airline recently orchestrated.

Other watering holes are located on each floor at the front of the aircraft next to Prestige and first-class cabins. (There goes the neighborhood.) They’ve got everything but chain steak joints and sushi shops.

Later this month Korean Air gets its tenth A380. Its first A380 was introduced into service in June 2011.

The Tarmac’s View: When it comes to parking, the A380 is no Toyota Prius. It’s not even your dad’s Oldsmobile. Back in April, a Korean Air A380 dinged two light poles while taxiing at LAX. The shepherds guiding the aircraft didn’t compute its 262-foot wingspan, just a few first downs short of a football field. A wing was scratched, two 30-foot light poles bent and the flight was delayed 11 hours.

In 2011, the wing of an Air France A380 taxing at JFK clipped a Delta commuter CRJ-700 and spun it around. Both aircraft were damaged. That should be a captain’s offense punishable by being hung from the wingtips by his or her underpants.

MORE FROM THE TARMAC

Twitter:
@flyertalk
Facebook:
flyertalk
More in:

Comments (Showing 3 of 3)

  • Swissaire at 6:43pm July 03, 2014

    Korean Air is a smart, well-run, efficient business airline.

    A 9th and a 10th AB 380 appears to be a smart, well researched move.

  • tridentnyc at 2:39am July 04, 2014

    Not sure I get your humor: : “They say it’s the lowest configuration of any A380 operator, even if passengers are stacked like planes waiting to takeoff” and “Yep, it’s business class only in the nosebleed section. Everybody tucked in because humorlessness can wear you down.” What do those comments mean?

    I applaud Korean for not cramming in every last seat on their 380’s, again, just don’t get your point I guess.

  • chx1975 at 5:42am July 08, 2014

    Yes, 34 inches is very generous in economy, nice move.

Leave Reply

You must be a logged in member to post a comment. Click here to Register.