Korean Air's A380 flying to London for 2012 Olympics

2 Dec 2009 by Mark Caswell

Korean Air chief Yang Ho Cho has confirmed that the airline will use its A380 aircraft on the London-Seoul route in time for the Olympics.

Speaking at the launch of multimedia guides for the British Museum, sponsored by Korean Air, Mr Co said that when the airline had first ordered the A380 aircraft it had expected to be flying the first one in time for the Beijing Olympics. In fact the first one will now be delivered to the airline in 2010, and the superjumbo will be deployed on Korean Air’s most important and prestigious routes.

 “We will operate them to the bigger markets and London is a big market.” Mr Cho said.

Korean Air’s sponsorship of the British Museum’s new set of handheld Multimedia Guides is a five-year partnership to 2014, and to celebrate, a Korean Air B747-400 aircraft has been ‘wrapped’ with images of artworks from the British Museum and will be used on routes to Europe and the Americas.

The move by Korean is part of an initiative to support the arts across Europe, and follows sponsorship of the multimedia guide at the Louvre Museum in Paris and the introduction of the Korean language to the multimedia guide at Russia’s State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The airline also offers a “Flying Art Ambassadors” service on selected routes that include London, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and Incheon where specially chosen and trained Korean Air cabin attendants, including those with degrees in art and culture, museum or curator experience, can provide information about museums, artists and famous artworks at the destination.

The sponsorship will also be celebrated with an online quiz at with questions relating to Korean Air’s sponsorship of the British Museum, and passengers travelling with Korean Air in First and Prestige class on the Incheon–London route will be given special edition baggage name tags decorated with images of the Lewis Chessmen, the famous pieces displayed in the British Museum.  

The handheld guides cost £4.50 from the museum, but during 2010 members of Korean Air’s frequent flyer scheme, Skypass, will receive £1.50 discounts on the cost of the hire of the multimedia guide when they present their membership cards at the British Museum. The guides have a touchscreen device with audiovisual commentaries available in eleven languages (including for the first time, Korean).  There will also be a Children’s and British Sign Language Multimedia Guide, as well as an audio guide for the visually impaired.  

* The images displayed on the ‘wrapped’ aircraft are a combination of the main artworks of the British Museum  - Head of Augustus/Rome, Gold coffin mask of Satdjehuty/Egypt, Sutton Hoo helmet/Europe, King of Ife Head/Africa) with characters from the Korean language.

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Report by Tom Otley

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