Travellers flying between Seoul and Hong Kong will be able to book Asiana Airlines’ First Suites from October 28 onwards as the Korean carrier deploys its Airbus A380 superjumbo on the route throughout much of the winter season.
According to the airline’s current schedule, the superjumbo will operate its OZ745 and OZ746 flights between Seoul Incheon and Hong Kong – one of two daily services the carrier operates between the two cities – from the end of October until March 30, 2019.
That being said, the aircraft won’t be taking over all flights on the route throughout this period. From December 6, 2018 until January 2, 2019, as well as from February 3-27, Asiana will deploy its Boeing 747-400s on its OZ745/OZ746 flights.
So what do these changes mean for business travellers?
Asiana’s A380s notably offer 12 First Suites, located at the front of the aircraft on the lower deck. These seats, configured in a forward-facing 1-2-1 layout, notably offer an enclosed space with a sliding door and recline to a fully flat 83-inch-long 22-inch-wide bed. There is also a large 32-inch in-flight entertainment (IFE) screen.
For business class passengers, meanwhile, the A380 is equipped with 66 of Asiana’s Business Smartium seats. These are similarly laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration across two cabins on the top deck of the aircraft, however unlike the first class suites the business class seats are staggered. Seats in odd rows offer a bit more privacy, with window seats are positioned slightly closer to the windows and centre seats positioned further away from their neighbours. The seats themselves similarly recline to a fully flat bed position, offering 74.5 inches of length and 22 inches of width, while screens come in at 15.6 inches.
As for the B747-400, these unfortunately don’t have Asiana’s First Suites nor do they offer the same Business Smartium product. Instead, Asiana offers its 10 of its Royal Business Class, which it bills as first class, in the nose of the aircraft and 24 of an older business class on the top deck, which it lays out in a 2-2 formation.
Asiana’s other daily flight between Seoul and Hong Kong, OZ721/OZ722, will continue to be operated by a mix of aircraft, notably its A330 and B777.
The upgauge to the superjumbo will come on the same day that rival Korean carrier, Korean Air, is set to cease its flights to Hong Kong from Busan.