[Power Korea] Korean Air: Luxury in the sky

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 18, 2013 - 20:00
  • Updated : Feb 18, 2013 - 20:25
Korean Air hopes to offer more premium, exclusive in-flight services.

At the forefront of its efforts is the A380 jumbo jet, the world’s largest jet airliner, nicknamed the “hotel in the sky.”

Korean Air was the first Northeast Asian airline that adopted the A380 in 2011. It has six of the aircraft in service, plying the routes to New York, Los Angeles, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.

The Korean flag carrier has also made the experience onboard the A380 even more luxurious by operating the upper deck exclusively for prestige-class passengers.

All 94 passenger seats have a 180-degree full-flat tilt, while special facilities such as a bar lounge and a duty-free shop create an in-flight space not just a flight but also for mingling with other travelers.

The company plans to use 10 more A380s by 2014 as part of its ongoing efforts to improve its premium brand image.

In 2011, Korean Air completed a large-scale renovation project that had been refurbishing its 49 passenger jets since 2005. Its 68 midsize and large aircraft have been upgraded for premium services.

Together with the renewed interior and ambience, all passenger seats are offered with improved entertainment services such as audio and video on demand.

Korean in-flight meals are also an area that Korean Air, which has led the globalization of Korean cuisine, has put more emphasis on in recent years.

It developed its own version of “bibimbap” (mixed rice with assorted vegetables) and “bibim guksu” (spicy cold noodles) for in-flight services, and the menu won the prestigious Mercury Award from the International Flight Catering Association.

The low-calorie menu consisting of salmon-based salad and noodles gained positive reviews from health-conscious passengers.

Korean Air’s world-class services have already been recognized globally.

In December, the carrier was honored by the global travel magazine Business Traveler as the best airline in Asia, for the best ad campaign, for the best business class in-flight meals and for the best in-flight entertainment.

It also won the best service award from the World Travel Awards for the first time as an airline across all travel, hotel and aviation industries.

By Lee Ji-yoon (