Korean Air Will Fly 747-8 To Frankfurt Instead Of London

Filed Under: Korean Air

For me the Boeing 747 will always be the queen of the skies. While most 747s are slowly being phased out, the plane has a bit of life left in it thanks to the new Boeing 747-8.

Lufthansa operates a good size fleet of them, while Air China recently started flying their 747-8s. The third airline to take delivery of the passenger version of the 747-8 will be Korean Air.


In March I wrote about Korean Air announcing that their first 747-8 destination will be London Heathrow, as of August 2015. That seemed like a logical enough choice. London is a huge market, and Korean Air only has once daily service there.

However, it looks like they’ve changed their mind, as Korean Air will be flying the 747-8 to Frankfurt rather than London Heathrow. Instead, Korean Air will continue to service London Heathrow with a 777-300ER.


Via airlineroute.net, Korean Air will begin operating the 747-8 to Frankfurt three times weekly as of September 2, 2015, and then daily starting October 1, 2015. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

KE905 Incheon to Frankfurt departing 12:45PM arriving 5:40PM
KE906 Frankfurt to Incheon departing 7:40PM arriving 1:05PM

That’s an interesting move. It seems like Korean Air is delaying 747-8 service by a bit, given that the Frankfurt 747-8 service will commence a month after the London 747-8 service was scheduled to begin. But this also does suggest that Frankfurt is a bigger market than London for Korean Air. Given the lack of SkyTeam connectivity in Frankfurt, that really does surprise me.

Bottom line

I know some of you specifically booked Korean Air between Incheon and London in hopes of getting onto their 747-8, so if you did, it’s time to rethink your plans.

I hope that Korean Air flies the 747-8 to the US soon, especially given that it will feature their new first class product. I’ll book a flight on their 747-8 as soon as such a service is announced.


  1. I can’t stop to laugh everytime i look to KE seat colors. It looks like something coming from North Korea or 50 years ago, expecially the picture in this article makes me wonder if it’s taken on board of the new Air Koryo Leader Class.

  2. The upper deck of a 747-8 is the ideal spot for a 1-1 configuration of ~10 first class suites with a separate seat and bed like EY did on their 380 — it’s the most private space on any commercial aircraft with the possible exception of the nose which is a bit awkward from a seating perspective IMO–much prefer the uniformity of the upper deck single aisle cabin.

  3. Looks like LH also serves this route with a 747-8 in winter (but A380 in summer). Would that make this the only route in the world with 747-8 service by two different airlines?

  4. I bet their new first class wouldn’t look so 1950s if Heather Cho were still in charge

  5. @Marco I actually like their color a lot.it looks better than photo. However, I still prefer Asiana than Korean because their lounge and amenity kit do not meet my standards.
    @Lucky It is simple, It’s competitor Lufthansa also has the 7478

  6. @Marco,

    I think KE’s colors are really nice actually. It gives the cabin a fresh and open feel. Also, Idk if this is the case for all their planes, but if you look at the seat closely there’s beautiful embroidery on it. Or maybe, I have a bias since I flew KE most of my childhood. 🙂

  7. KE’s first long-haul A380 route was also FRA-ICN. (Or was intended to be. I’m not certain if they actually flew it there first. I booked to try to get on it and they swapped to 77W shortly before my flight.) I think it’s probably about connecting two financial centers and there may also be some auto business on the route.

  8. @justin

    The problem is you would still have room up there for another 3 rows at 10 seats. It’s significantly longer than the 744 which already could do 8 F suites with beds like what LH adopted. I don’t think any airline is looking for 16 F suites. It would look really sweet with a herringbone set up though and a single 1-1 arangement. I wonder how many seats they could fit in?

  9. Woah, my previous post made me look up the Air China 748 seat map, to make sure they didn’t already introduce a herringbone J seat (they did not). But, what I did discover is that they put the F section not in the nose and not upstairs but in the front middle of the plane – between J and Prem Y. I don’t think I have ever seen that before. Presumably they needed a little extra room for 12 seats than what the nose could handle but less space than the entire upstairs. Very strange.

  10. Maybe it’s to facilitate selling F seats by the hour, AdamH, as some airline crew have done in the past as per one of Lucky’s earlier posts!

  11. ICN-LHR has always been a slightly problematic route for some reason – BA re-launched it a few years back, but it performed so badly with premium traffic they recently cut it from a 4-class 777 to a 3 class 787 (no first class, just 35 business class seats). OZ doesn’t operate first class either on the route, meaning KE is the only airline thst does, so I’m not terribly surprised they haven’t found the need to increase overall capacity / bring a flagship product to that market. Also wondering if it has anything at all to do with maintenance, given there would be 747-8 qualified engineers at FRA on account of the LH operation but AFAIK no carrier operates 747-8s at LHR? Maybe it doesn’t work like that, maintenance is not an area of expertise of mine at all..

  12. @ Chandan Bhat — Very interesting story, though that’s lots of speculation without many facts. Hmmm…

  13. KE will be flying their 747-8i to the USA soon….. to SFO! Starting Nov 1st according to airlineroute.net!

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