Asiana Airlines is finally ending their first class cabin entirely, moving towards what will be an improved business class experience. The carrier is set to end pricing in September, leaving their A380 aircraft with what could be branded as “Business Suites.”
Asiana Airlines is getting out of selling a first-class cabin entirely, moving instead to a business class offering and a business class upgrade. Australian Business Traveller reports the airline will end selling first class seats entirely by September 1, 2019.
Previously, the airline ended multi-class seating on most of its international aircraft, leaving the Airbus A380 as the only aircraft with first class. The superjumbo jet, which flies between South Korea and three cities – Frankfurt, Los Angeles and New York – will no longer show first class inventory after the September deadline.
Instead, the premium seats are expected to turn into a “business plus” option, which may be an upgrade from the traditional business class experience. These “Business Suites” will remain a premium option, but sold at a discount of up to 40% less than traditional first class seats.
As a result, flyers will get fewer amenities than what traditionally comes with a first class experience. Flyers in the Business Suites after September 1 will receive the same meals, beverages and amenities as those in the traditional business class.
Asiana’s move comes as the carrier is trying to cut costs associated with flying, but mirrors a bigger trend among Asian airlines. In December 2018, Malaysian Airlines announced they would end their first class cabin and instead rebrand them as Business Suites. And at the beginning of May 2019, Korean Air noted their elimination of first class on most routes, leaving them with only 35 routes offering a multi-class option.
[Image Source: Asiana Airlines]