Founded: Asiana Airlines was established on February 17, 1988, approximately 19 years after South Korea’s flag carrier Korean Air.
Home base: As one of South Korea’s two major carriers, Asiana is primarily based out of Seoul’s two major airports – Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport. It also operates a number of routes from Busan’s Gimhae International Airport.
Fleet size: As of March 2017, Asiana’s fleet comprises a total of 83 aircraft.
Its six Airbus A380s include first suites, Business Smartium and economy; the airline’s two Boeing 747-400s and two 747 Combi offer first, business and economy class; its 11 B777-200ERs feature first suites, first class, Business Smartium, business and economy class; its seven A320-200s are economy only; while its seven B767-300s, 15 A330-300s, two A321-100s and 23 A321-200s each offer business and economy class.
Route network: Asiana’s route network primarily comprises international services, with 79 international routes covering 65 cities in 23 countries. Its domestic network, meanwhile, entails 11 routes to ten cities.
China is Asiana’s major market with more than 30 routes to cities including Guangzhou, Nanjing, Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Tianjin, and Hong Kong, among others. Southeast Asia is its next largest market, flying to Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.
Further abroad, Asiana has routes to Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Paris and Rome, while its services to the US include Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.
Most recently in March 2017, the airline launched its A380 service between Seoul and Frankfurt, replacing the existing 359-seat Boeing 747 that operated the route.
Alliance: Asiana has been a member of Star Alliance since 2003. Among the airline alliance’s other Asia-Pacific carriers are Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Eva Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways.
Other Star Alliance members include Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines and United.
Codeshares: In addition to codeshares with fellow Star Alliance members, Asiana also has codeshares with Air Astana, Air Busan, Air China, Air Macau, Air Seoul, China Southern, Etihad, Myanmar Airways, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7 Airlines, Shandong Airlines, and Sri Lankan Airlines.
In April 2017, the airline also announced a new codeshare agreement with Hong Kong Airlines that included both airlines’ flights between Hong Kong and Seoul.
Frequent flyer programme: Asiana’s frequent flyer programme is called Asiana Club and includes five tiers: Silver, Gold, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Platinum. Miles can be accrued on Asiana Airlines and Star Alliance partner airline flights.
At the entry Silver level, miles accrued are valid for ten years from the date of boarding or date of accumulation, whichever is first. Platinum members attain their rank after accumulating one million miles or by flying on 1,000 Asiana Airlines flights after joining, and is for life.
Separately from Asiana Club, the airline also last year launched Asiana First Membership – a new programme for business class travellers, aimed at providing them with low-cost upgrades to first class on select flights. One-time purchases for a single round-trip are valued at KRW700,000 (US$609), while an annual membership with unlimited upgrades can be purchased for KRW1.3 million (US$1,131). Both include access to the airline’s first class lounge.
That said, Asiana First Membership is somewhat limited, being offered only on Asiana’s long-haul services to Los Angeles, New York and Frankfurt. Back in August 2015, the carrier axed first class from the majority of its flights citing low demand and rising losses.
Future plans: Starting in May 2017, Asiana will be offering a new Economy Smartium service aboard its new A350s. The seats offer 3-4 inches of additional pitch compared with its regular economy offering, and will be located in a separate space comprising 36 seats. That said, the airline has stopped short of calling it a premium economy offering – seat width, screen size and recline are all unchanged from its economy seating – though it does include certain benefits including priority boarding, access to the Asiana Business Class Lounge at Incheon Airport and in-flight amenities (the latter two will only be available for long-haul passengers).
Asiana’s first A350-900 – which is set to offer Business Smartium, its Economy Smartium and economy class options – is scheduled to be deployed on May 15, 2017. The airline is planning to deploy these aircraft on its Osaka and Manila routes, followed by San Francisco and London later this year.
Meanwhile, Asiana will also be adding up-to-date A321neos to its fleet in the near future. In February 2015, it signed a letter of intent to purchase 25 of the aircraft as part of its ongoing fleet modernisation programme.