Korean Air launches non-stop flights to Delhi

Korean Air's A330-200

Korean Air (KAL) will be introducing a new non-stop service between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi this December. The route will add to the airline’s existing service between the two airports via Bangkok.

Beginning December 1, the new route will run five times weekly on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Flights will depart Incheon at 1245 and arrive at 1820, with return legs departing Indira Gandhi Airport at 1940 and arriving at 0550 the following morning.

KAL will be deploying its 218-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route, which feature the airline’s latest seats in first and prestige class along with an advanced AVOD entertainment system.

The Delhi route will be the second service to India offered by the Korean carrier. KAL currently services Mumbai with a thrice-weekly direct flight between Incheon and Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport (BOM), along with services via Singapore and Bangkok.

Flight details for the new route are as follows (all times are local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
KE481 ICN DEL 1245 1820 Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
KE482 DEL ICN 1940 0550+1

koreanair.com

Korean Air and Delta strengthen codeshare partnership

Korean Air A380 Prestige cabin

Korean Air and Delta Air Lines will strengthen their partnership by expanding the number of codeshare routes to more than 100 US and Canadian destinations as well as 30 cities across Asia.

The new codeshare routes are expected to launch later this year, subject to government approvals. As part of the partnership, Korean Air will place its “KE” marketing code on 156 of Delta’s US and Canadian routes beyond Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York-JFK. The carrier will also add its code onto Delta’s Sao Paulo flights from both Atlanta and New York.

Reciprocally, Delta will codeshare with Korean Air on its flights to 32 cities, including those from Seoul-Incheon to Singapore, Bangkok, Saigon, Osaka, and Taipei. The US carrier will also place its code on Korean Air flights from Seoul-Incheon to Houston and San Francisco.

“Our expanded partnership with Delta allows our customers to travel more conveniently with more options between Asia and the Americas, strengthening our position as the world’s largest transpacific airline, said Walter Cho, Korean Air’s chief operating officer.

“Travellers will benefit from the combined network strength of Korean Air and Delta resulting in greater schedule flexibility and increased frequency.”

For more information, visit koreanair.com and delta.com

Tourism from India to South Korea is on the rise

Central Park, Songdo, South Korea

Catering to the rising demand of travellers from India, Korean airlines are increasing service between the countries.

Asiana Airlines and Koran Air have multiple daily connecting flights between Mumbai and Delhi, and Seoul. In addition to this, Asiana Airlines has increased its direct service between Seoul and New Delhi from three to four times a week.

Direct flight OZ768 leaves New Delhi at 0220 and reaches Seoul at 1310 on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

A press release shared by Korea Tourism Organisation reveals that both the airlines have plans to wax flight frequencies between the countries, starting December.

Byungsun Lee, director of Korea Tourism Organisation says, “Over 1,50,000 Indians visited South Korea last year and we have had almost 90,000 within (the past) seven months (this year). We are confident of surpassing last year’s numbers by the end of 2016. As we approach the festival season and the winter holiday season, we plan to widen our efforts and establish South Korea as a preferred leisure destination amongst various traveller segments including families, honeymooners and adventure lovers.”

Statistics recorded at the end of July 2016 show that there has been a 47.9 per cent increase of Indian tourists into South Korea from the same period of 2015.
Korea Tourism Organisation states: “The tourism board’s efforts in educating the travel trade partners to promote the destination in the best possible manner, the proactive business approach from the DMCs (destination management companies) and connecting with the end traveler through tactical media platforms have been the key factors in (achieving this) result.”

visitkorea.or.kr

us.flyasiana.com

koreanair.com

Korean Air switching to A380 on Sydney route

Korean Air A380 Prestige cabin

Korean Air has pushed up its planned A380 deployment on the Seoul Incheon–Sydney route.

According to routesonlines.com, the superjumbo was previously scheduled to operate the route from December 1. However, the Skyteam member will now deploy the A380 from October 30 instead.

Korean Air currently serves Sydney with the A330, which means that the deployment of the A380 will represent a significant increase in capacity. While both Airbus aircraft sport a three-class configuration, the superjumbo offers six more seats in first, 76 more in Prestige (business) and 49 more in economy.

In terms of seat products, the A380 will offer Korean Air’s Kosmo Suites (1-2-1), which is clearly superior to the Sleeper seats (2-2-2) on the A330. In business, both Airbus aircraft offer the same Prestige Sleeper seats (2-2-2).

Service times will remain unchanged. Flight KE121 departs Seoul daily at 1845 and arrives in Sydney at 0655 the following day. The return leg sees flight KE122 take off from Sydney at 0900, before touching back down in Seoul at 1740.

For more information, visit koreanair.com

Clement Huang

Korean Air to introduce no-show fees

Korean Air Airbus 330-200

Korean Air passengers who fail to inform the airline that they wish to cancel their flights, will get hit with “no–show” penalty fees – a move that the airline states is being made in order to minimise seat wastage.

The no-show fees will be applied to tickets purchased from October 1, and be levied onto passengers that either do not cancel their reservation prior to the scheduled time of departure, or do not board their flight after checking in.

The fees charged are based on the distance travelled. Passengers who fail to turn up for flights to/from North America, Latin America, Europe and Oceania will be charged US$120, while those flying to/from Southeast and Southwest Asia will be charged US$70. For short-haul international flights to/from Japan and China, the penalty is US$50.

Meanwhile, the no-show fee for domestic flights will remain at KRW 8,000 (US$7). Korean Air first started charging no-show fees for its domestic flights back in 2008, but is only expanding this now to its international services.

The revised policy puts Korean Air in line with a number of international carriers, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Japan Airlines – all of which have introduced no-show fees.

For more information, visit koreanair.com

Clement Huang

American and Korean Air sign codeshare

American Airlines

American Airlines has signed a codeshare agreement with Korean Air for the latter to place its code on AA flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Seoul Incheon.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will allow Korean Air Skypass loyalty members to earn miles on American-operated flights between the two airports.

If approved, the carriers plan to sell codeshare flights for travel beginning in April.

Kurt Stache, American’s SVP of alliances and partnerships, said: “This is the next step in strengthening our position in Asia, allowing us to win new customers in the region. We look forward to a strong relationship with Korean Air.”

Yong Soon Park, Korean Air’s SVP of international affairs and alliance, added: “We are delighted with this partnership which will provide our customers with better access between Korea and the US and to destinations throughout North, Central and South America.”

American began serving Seoul in May 2013 and operates a B777-200 aircraft on the Dallas/Fort Worth to Seoul route.

Last month, American announced it will launch the first non-stop flight between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing Capital International airport on May 7 (see news, January 23).

aa.com, koreanair.com

Graham Smith

Korean Air adds new partners to “Excellent Boarding Pass” programme

Korean Air has added new partners to its “Excellent Boarding Pass” program.

Launched in 2012, the service offers discounts and numerous benefits to KA passengers travelling to Korea who retain their boarding passes. By presenting their IDs and boarding passes to any of the programme partners within seven days from the departure date, they will be entitled to a series of perks.

Only travellers on international flights can take advantage of this, however, as it is not available to passengers flying on Korean Air’s domestic routes.

Benefits are available from the moment passengers arrive at any Korean airport where they can exchange money at favourable rates (Hana Bank); receive discounts to rent mobile phones (SK telecom and Kt); and even enjoy special rates for transportation from the airport to the downtown areas (KORAIL and KAL Limousine).

The programme began with 27 affiliates, but this has now been extended to a total of 34 partners; new members include Samsung Everland, Lotte Mart, CJ Foodworld, Bibigo, Twosome Coffee, and A Twosome Place.

Benefits from the new partners are varied, with Samsung Everland offering a 20 per cent discount for a regular ticket to the amusement park, while hypermarket Lotte Mart will hand out a discount coupon worth KRW 5,000 (US$4.8).

For more information, visit www.koreanair.com

Clement Huang

Korean Air introduces traditional “table d’hôte” meals

Korean Air has rolled out a traditional Korean “table d’hôte” meal concept, in response to the cuisine’s popularity onboard its flights. The new service will be available exclusively for first class passengers on flights bound for the Americas, Europe, Oceania and Southeast Asia from January 1, 2014.

The “table d’hôte” is essentially an entirely separate set-menu of dedicated Korean cuisine. The airline has stated that the new concept will expand the choice of Korean food onboard, and will be served along side the standard menus, that offer a mix of both Korean and Western cuisine.

To widen the appeal of the menu, and help make passengers feel more comfortable with the food, the Korean “table d’hôte” meal will be modified slightly in order to better accommodate non-Korean palates. In addition, all courses will be served separately – a notable different from the past where all components were served together.

The new service will be launched with a winter season menu that features seafood salad with mulberry yoghurt sauce as an appetiser, black rice and walnut porridge with salad and plum dressing as an entrée. This will be followed by a choice of either braised pork and kimchi, or wrapped salmon with bean curd as the main course. Finally, cinnamon punch with dried persimmon will be served as the dessert.

Korean Air intends to change the menu regularly in order to focus on the seasonality of the ingredients, as well as the freshness and taste of the food.

The Korean “table d’hôte” meal concept is the latest in a series of inflight menu upgrades that the carrier has unveiled recently. Just last week, Korean Air announced that first and business class passengers travelling on international routes would be able to enjoy Perrier-Jouët champagne (see here).

For more information, visit www.koreanair.com

Clement Huang

Korean Air introduces Perrier-Jouët champagne

Korean Air’s first and business class passengers on international routes can now enjoy one of the most famous champagnes in the world – Perrier-Jouët.

The champagne has had a long and successful history that covers nearly 200 years. As a luxury brand, Perrier-Jouët has been appreciated by many European royal families, including Leopold I and Napoleon III. In 1861, Quenn Victoria issued the drink a royal warrant, meaning that Perrier-Jouët became the suppliers of champagne to the British royal family.

Korean Air will serve the three different types of champagnes by Perrier-Jouët on separate routes. Known as the “floral champagne”, Belle Époque will be served in Korean Air’s first class cabin on routes between South Korea, America and Europe. Blason Rosé, meanwhile, will be available in first class on the Southeast Asia and Oceania routes, while prestige class passengers will be able to enjoy Grand Brut on all routes.

The champagne is served in glasses manufactured by Riedel.

For more information, visit www.koreanair.com

Clement Huang

Korean Air launches A380 on Seoul–Atlanta route

Korean Air A380

Korean Air has launched the A380 on its Seoul and Atlanta service – marking the first time an A380 has flown between the two destinations. All ten weekly services on this route were previously operated by a smaller B777-300 aircraft.

The inaugural A380 flight departed Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport at 1310, September 1, and arrived in Seoul today at 1650 (local time). The jumbo jet will operate the route on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The A380 features a three-class configuration with 12 seats in first, 94 in business and 301 in economy class. With only 407 in total, Korean Air puts fewer seats on its A380 than any other carrier.

From September 17 to 25, the Seoul–Atlanta route will temporarily go back to being served entirely by the B777, but from October 27 onwards, the airline will offer daily A380 services for the route. The remaining three weekly services will be flown by the B777.

The B777 will also offer a three-class configuration, but will feature eight seats on first, 56 on business and 227 on economy class. Normal services by the A380 will resume on 27 September, but one of the trice-weekly services will move from Sunday to Thursday.

For more information, visit www.koreanair.com

Clement Huang