Korean Air has taken delivery of their first Boeing 747-800i aircraft in passenger version last week. Service with the new aircraft will begin soon!
Korean Air is a longstanding Boeing customer and still operates many 747-400 aircraft. The carrier has ordered 10 of the 747-8i aircraft and also operates 10 Airbus A380. These aircraft will constitute the modern heart of Korean Air’s long haul fleet.
Air Transport World Online has reported about the background of the delivery and a detailed profile (access their article here).
Korean Air, which received the 747-8I Aug. 25, becomes the first airline in the world to operate both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8.
The SkyTeam carrier operates seven 747-8Fs. The first 747-8F entered its fleet in 2012, while three more 747-8Is deliveries are scheduled for 2015.
With a range of 7,730 nautical miles (14,310 km), the 747-8I offers 16% savings in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30% less noise. Korean Air’s 747-8I is configured with six new first class Kosmo Suite seats as well as 48 business-class and 314 economy-class seats.
This is interesting because it will introduce yet another cabin product to Korean Air. I have flown on two First Class products of Korean Air in the past year, the A380 to Los Angeles and the B777 to Vancouver. Now the 747-800 will feature a third product with the Kosmo Suites. It will definitely be a huge improvement for Business Class passengers because the ‘Prestige Suites’ feature a fully flat seat and much more privacy.
You can access the Korean Air website for these new cabin products here (Warning: Korean Air’s website is absolutely terrible and always has been).
The carrier said it will start using the 747-8I from Sep. 2 on the Seoul Incheon-Frankfurt 3X weekl services, as well as 3X weekly Seoul-Singapore. From October, those services will increase to daily frequency. Beginning November, Hong Kong and San Francisco will be added to the 747-8I network.
The Singapore and Frankfurt Route suits me quite well, maybe I try and book a ticket on one of these routes using Delta or Air France miles.
As mentioned I have flown Korean Air multiple times and really don’t know what to make of them. They have some very nice planes but there are so many things that absolutely don’t make any sense. On top of that their flight attendants have an atrocious English (and lack any other knowledge of foreign languages). On my Los Angeles flight, every single order I placed except one was delivered incorrectly from beverages to dining options. It’s was unbelievable.
Coming back to the matter of the aircraft, finally Korean Air installed a proper Business Class. Just as Lufthansa, Korean Air put their traditional ‘slides’ in the Airbus A380 which are still equipped that way.