LONDON – Earlier this month the Korean carrier, Asiana Airlines, announced the return of its Airbus A380 aircraft, which will be operated to two of its highest load factor destinations.
The A380 Resumption of Service…
Over the next two months, Asiana will finally bring back its Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft into service, since they stopped flying them at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to travel demand being very low. During that time they couldn’t fill the seats of the aircraft in order to make any money from operating them.
Its resumption of service was originally pinned to happen back in March 2022, however, due to the widespread restrictions across a vast majority of the Asian continent because of the Omicron variant, this had since been delayed until this month.
Asiana has also reported that one of the main reasons for the resumption of their Airbus A380’s now, is that during May, both of these two routes had achieved a 90% average load factor.
Ultimately this means that there is enough demand to fill their 495-seater Airbus A380’s. Not only this but the A380 will also help combat their severe seat shortage during the expected busier summer season.
The carrier has a total of six Airbus A380’s in its fleet, all configured with 495 seats, broken down as: 78 business class and 417 economy class.
The first destination that Asiana will be resuming the Airbus A380 on will be Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), with the service due to restart from June 25. The type will serve Bangkok on a daily basis.
The Bangkok flight:
- Flight OZ741 will leave Seoul’s Incheon Airport (ICN) at 19:30 pm and arrive into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at 23:10 pm after approximately a five hour flight. Both local times (LMT).
- Flight OZ742 will leave Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at 01:10 am and arrive back into Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) at 09:00 am after approximately again a five hour flight. Both local times (LMT).
This particular flight is currently mostly operated by Asiana’s Airbus A330-300 aircraft, of which the carrier currently operates 15.
The second destination that Asiana will be resuming their Airbus A380 operations on will be Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) which is due to restart from July 23. The type will serve Los Angeles on three per week basis.
The Los Angeles flight:
- Flight OZ202 will depart Seoul Incheon (ICN) at 14:40 pm and arrive into Los Angeles (LAX) at 09:50 am after an approximately 10 hour flight. Both times local (LMT).
- Flight OZ204 will depart Seoul Incheon (ICN) at 20:40 pm and arrive into Los Angeles (LAX) at 16:00 pm after an approximately 10 hour flight. Both times local (LMT).
- Flight OZ201 will depart Los Angeles (LAX) at 12:10 pm and arrive back into Seoul Incheon (ICN) at 17:35 pm after an approximately 12 and a half hour flight. Both times local (LMT).
- Flight OZ203 will depart Los Angeles (LAX) at 23:00 pm and arrive back into Seoul Incheon (ICN) at 05:00 am after an approximately 12 and a half hour flight. Both times local (LMT).
All of the carrier’s Los Angeles flights at present are primarily operated by its Airbus A350-900 fleet, of which Asiana currently operates 13. Asiana still has a further eight orders for the A350-900 and nine orders for the Airbus A350-1000, to eventually have a total of 30 Airbus A350 aircraft in its fleet.
Both of these resumptions of the Airbus A380 are currently only scheduled to be operated until the end of the summer season, specifically October 29.
However, if the demand still remains at that time, it is likely that Asiana will extend these operations and possibly add some other high density routes, such as Hong Kong, for the A380 to resume serving.
A spokesperson for the carrier commented on the resumption of the A380 service, saying, “There has been a serious seat shortage as the demand for international travel increased tremendously with people no longer restricted from flying overseas.”
“We hope flying the A380 planes, featured with the best facilities, will help passengers to easily book their tickets and have a better experience during the flight.”
It is great to see that Asiana is finally returning its superjumbo to the skies after a very long period of storage. Interestingly both of these two routes were among the first that the carrier originally pinned their Airbus A380 to when they took delivery of their first two back in 2014.
It will be interesting to see if Asiana also pins its Airbus A380 onto some of its other high density routes, such as Hong Kong or Tokyo, as well as seeing if they are to extend their operations of the type into the winter season.