South Korean flag carrier Korean Air will introduce a premium economy class product as it takes delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the airline’s chief executive, Walter Cho, told media this week.
The SkyTeam carrier already has 11 Boeing 787-9 long-haul aircraft in its current fleet, but is due to take delivery of nine more, plus 20 higher-capacity 787-10 Dreamliners over the coming years.
In their current configuration, the Korean Air 787-9 Dreamliner seats 269 passengers – 24 in 1-2-1 business class and 245 in 3-3-3 economy class.
A seat map for the 787-10 with the new premium economy seats has not been released yet, although Korean Air did say that the new cabin class would debut next year.
Separately, on 9 November, Korean Air announced that it would resume its services to Komatsu and Aomori in Japan from Seoul Incheon from December and January, respectively.
The resumptions will see the airline fully restore its Japan network to pre-pandemic levels.
Both routes will operate three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
With the resumption of Komatsu and Aomori, Korean Air will once again fly to 12 destinations across Japan: Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Niigata, Okayama, Kagoshima, Okinawa, Komatsu and Aomori.
In addition to post-pandemic travel recovery, the weak Japanese Yen has boosted travel demand to Japan, Korean Air noted.
The airline recently placed a top-up order for 20 additional Airbus A321 neo aircraft as part of its fleet modernisation plans, increasing its orders for the A321 neo to 50 aircraft.
The airline’s A321neo is a single-aisle aircraft configured in a two-class layout with 182 seats – eight in lie-flat business class and 174 in economy.
Korean Air has taken delivery of eight out of its initial order of 30 A321 neo aircraft, with the first delivery having taken place in December 2022. The next-gen fleet is being deployed on short and medium-haul routes to Southeast Asia, China and Japan.