Korean Air’s A380 to serve Frankfurt

It had been thought that London Heathrow would be the second city in Europe to receive Korean Air’s A380. But in the end the carrier has plumped for Frankfurt.

Daily flights linking Frankfurt with Seoul Incheon will start in under a month.

On March 25, flight KE905 will depart Seoul at 1250 to arrive into Frankfurt the same day at 1745. Return flight KE906 will depart at 1945 to reach Seoul the next day at 1305.

It is the second time that Korean has proposed to serve Frankfurt with the A380 (see online news August 12, 2011) but this time it seems the carrier’s plans are set in stone.

But why Frankfurt? After all, it the hub of Star Alliance (Korean is a member of rival Skyteam) so there is stiff competition at Germany’s main hub from both Lufthansa and fellow Korean carrier Asiana.

On the other hand if it were London then Korean Air would have a stronger position in the market. Seoul is not on the British Airways’ network so competition is limited to Asiana.

The answer, perhaps, is two-fold. Korean Air has already announced an expansion of its London route. From April 29 it will serve Gatwick in addition to Heathrow.

But perhaps Frankfurt was chosen over London because the immediate area is the European base for a number of Korean multi-nationals.

Executives employed by electronics giant Samsung and car firms Kia and Hyundai will help fill the A380’s mammoth 94-seater business class cabin and the 12 suites in its first class zone.

For that reason, Frankfurt has always been the first of the main European hubs served by Korean Air which receive its latest inflight products.

Korean Air has not officially announced the new service but flights are already open for booking and full details are posted on its website.

For more information visit koreanair.com.

Report by Alex McWhirter