Korean Air has celebrated the delivery of its first A380 at a special ceremony at Airbus in Toulouse today. The ceremony was attended by Korean Air Chairman Yang Ho Cho and hosted by Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. EADS CEO Louis Gallois was also present at the event. Korean Air is the sixth airline to take delivery of the A380 and has ordered a total of 10 aircraft.
Korean Air will initially operate the A380 from its Seoul hub to selected destinations in Asia, followed by non-stop services to North America and Europe. The airline has specified an extra-spacious layout for its A380 fleet, with accommodation for 407 passengers in three classes. Special features on board the aircraft include the world’s first ever duty free showcase area and a stylish onboard bar and lounge on the upper deck for premium passengers.
“Korean Air was the first airline to purchase an Airbus aircraft outside Europe and they have now become an essential part of our fleet,” said Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air. “The exceptional, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly A380 that is being delivered today is perfect to assist Korean Air in advancing our goal of becoming a respected leading global carrier.”
“We are extremely proud to welcome Korean Air as the latest operator of the A380,” said Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus. “The A380 has proven to be a game changer, setting new standards for comfort, economic efficiency and respect for the environment. We are confident that the A380 will play a key role in enabling Korean Air to further strengthen its position as one of the world’s great airlines.”
Since entering service in 2007 the eco-efficient A380 has exceeded all expectations, flying more people further at lower cost. The spacious, quieter cabin and smooth ride have made the aircraft a firm favourite with passengers. This has resulted in higher than average load factors and increased profitability on A380 flights, providing airlines with a key competitive advantage wherever they operate the type.
Typically seating 525 passengers in a three class layout, the A380 is capable of flying 8,300 nautical miles or 15,300 kilometres. This enables non-stop service with a full payload from Seoul to any destination in Europe, and as far afield as the East Coast of the US.