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Korean Air, Asiana Airlines bet big on Paris routes

Publication Date : 15-04-2014


South Korea's two top airlines - Korean Air and Asiana Airlines - are pouring more resources into the lucrative Incheon-Paris route with the aim of appealing to high-spending travellers, and more importantly, to restore profit.

Paris is one of the most favored destinations for Korean air travelers. In 2013, the occupancy rate of the Incheon-Paris routes was 79.3 per cent, higher than for the European gateways Frankfurt (78.8 per cent) and London (75.6 per cent).

As Korea and France recently agreed to open up more seats on the routes between the two cities, air carriers are moving quickly to fill the demand.

South Korea's largest airline, Korean Air, reintroduced the A380 jumbo jet on the Incheon-Paris routes on March 30. The company currently operates the double-decker aircraft to Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

With the A380 replacing the previous B777-300, capacity increased from 291 seats to 407. The aircraft depart daily at 1:05pm and are scheduled to arrive in Paris at 6:20pm. The return flight leaves at 9pm and arrives in Incheon at 2 p.m.

“The premium service of the A380 will attract more travelers,” said a Korean Air official.

The No. 2 Asiana Airlines, which plans to adopt six A380 starting in May, is also considering introducing the luxury jumbo jet for the Paris routes in the near future, according to industry sources.

Before the official launch, the company will operate the B777 with some 300 seats five days per week compared to the previous four days from May 24.

The Asiana planes will fly every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays. They depart Incheon at 12:30pm and arrive in Paris at 5:50pm.

“With a Saturday flight added, the convenience for travelers, including honeymooners, will be enhanced,” said an official. “We will carry out diverse promotional and marketing activities.”

The official added that the introduction of the A380 has yet to be confirmed.


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