London Heathrow and Frankfurt were tipped to be the first European destinations for Korean Air’s A380.
But in the end, the Seoul-based carrier has plumped for Paris CDG with services expected to start as early as this September.
Korean Air has ordered ten superjumbos and will take delivery of five of them this year. The first plane enters service on June 17. It will operate flights on regional routes out of Seoul to Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong. A service to Bangkok will follow in July.
But the big news is that Korean Air will operate the A380 to the US and Europe starting in August. New York will be its first US A380 destination that month followed by Los Angeles in October.
The A380 route linking Seoul with Paris CDG will commence on September 26 with a three-times weekly service, departing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Flight numbers are KE901 and KE902. Korean Air will use a B747-400 on the other days of the week. The A380 flights are now available to book online at koreanair.com.
Paris CDG is a Skyteam hub and so is a logical gateway for Korean Air who, along with Air France, are both members of this alliance. Terminal 2, used by Air France and other Skyteam members, has the facilities for handling the A380.
As a result Korean Air passengers can rely on Air France to provide connections via CDG to destinations throughout the UK and mainland Europe.
It is of particular interest to UK passengers based in the regions. Right now if a Mancunian wishes to take Korean Air to Seoul he or she must fly into Heathrow’s Terminal 1 with Bmi or into Terminal 5 with BA. There is then a lengthy bus transfer to T4 on the other side of the airfield. But taking Air France into CDG’s Terminal 2 involves a relatively easy transfer within E Zone.
For more information visit koreanair.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter
For a comparison of the six A380 operators, including images, videos and seatplans, click here.