About a month ago I wrote a post about speculatively trying to lock in Asiana A380 award seats. We knew Asiana would take delivery of their first A380 in the second quarter of 2014, though knew nothing beyond that. I speculated that they would first fly their A380 to Tokyo and Hong Kong for training and familiarization flights, and guessed that their first longhaul A380 destination would be Los Angeles, since it’s the only destination to which they currently have twice daily service.
Anyway, while we still don’t have concrete dates, there’s a Wall Street Journal article quoting Asiana’s CEO about their future A380 plans.
Asiana will take delivery of a total of six A380s — two in June of this year, two next year, and two in 2017.
Their first longhaul destination will be Los Angeles, and that service should start as of July (though we don’t know the specific date yet, whether it’s the beginning or end of the month). So if everything goes as planned, I’d say if you’re booked on OZ201/202 in August or later you’ll almost certainly have the A380. Their future longhaul A380 destinations will include New York and Frankfurt. However, it will likely be next year before we see A380 service to one of those cities, and 2017 before we see A380 service to the other.
I would expect before they begin service to Los Angeles, they’ll be doing some flights to Tokyo and Hong Kong with the A380, specifically the ones that are currently operated by the 747.
I assume a lot of people redeemed miles for Asiana first class right before the United MileagePlus devaluation, so award space isn’t amazing on the route at the moment, though there are still some first class award seats.
Daum.net has also posted Asiana’s A380 seatmap. The plane will consist of 495 seats, including 12 first class seats on the lower deck, 66 business class seats on the upper deck, and 417 economy seats (106 on the upper deck and 311 on the lower deck).
First class should be the “First Suite Class” product, which is a fully enclosed suite, as the name suggests.
Meanwhile business class should be the “Business Smartium Class” product, which features fully flat seats with direct aisle access.
So, anyone booked in Asiana first class between Los Angeles and Seoul in August or later? 🙂