Asiana celebrates first double-decker Airbus

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Asiana celebrates first double-decker Airbus

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Airbus employees form Asiana Airlines’ logo during the handover ceremony of the air carriers’ first A380 aircraft at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, on Monday. Provided by the company

Asiana Airlines, Korea’s second-largest flag carrier, yesterday said that it has received its first A380 jumbo jet from Airbus and will begin using it for commercial flights next month.

The handover ceremony took place at the Airbus A380 delivery center in Toulouse, France, with 170 guests attending, including Kumho Asiana Group Chairman and CEO Park Sam-koo, Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier and Rolls-Royce President of Civil Large Engines Eric Schulz.

“We are confident that the introduction of next-generation aircraft A380 will enhance customer satisfaction and play an important role in ensuring the safest operation,” Park said at the event.

The delivery comes three and a half years after Asiana announced it would buy the A380. The air carrier said that the first A380 will arrive at Incheon International Airport on Friday.

From June 13, the double-decker aircraft will fly to Narita International Airport in Tokyo daily and will fly to Hong Kong six times a week. Asiana said that once the second A380 is delivered in late July, it will use the aircraft to fly from Osaka to Bangkok. The daily flight to Los Angeles is scheduled to begin Aug. 15, it added.

Asiana’s A380 can hold 495 passengers with 12 first-class seats, 66 business-class seats and 417 economy-class seats. The company hired award-winning London agency Tangerine to design the cabin.

Its first-class seats have the world’s largest private in-cabin screen, a 32-inch HD LCD display, and is the first local air carrier to have twin sliding doors for privacy. The business class seats have a staggered, zig-zag layout, giving passengers easier access to their seats, which recline to a flat position for sleeping.

Asiana said the new jet will save on fuel costs because its fuel efficiency is 3 liters per 100 passenger kilometers - 20 percent less than other aircraft.

The company will bring in two A380s in 2015 and two in 2017.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]



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