A380 Jumbo Jet Debuted By Korean Air


Korean Air took its first A380 Airbus jumbo jet and some international press to Tokyo and back on Thursday and the reporters left cooing about the double-decker plane's massive first class "suites," bar and duty free shopping area.

The plane started regular services between Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tokyo on Friday. Korean Air's 10 A380 airplanes will eventually be put to use servicing Bangkok, Los Angeles, New York and Paris, making northeast Asia that much more accessible.

The Wall Street Journal was particularly excited about the prospect of going perfume shopping at altitude, though the combination of turbulence and a spray bottle could lead to excessively fragrant passengers. The aircraft also features three lounges, which Korean Air created by taking out a lot of seats.

In fact, the entire second floor of the plane is devoted to business class seats, so it can carry only 407 passengers - about 110 less than Air France or Lufthansa A380s. The investment in business class seems well timed to take advantage of the resurgence of corporate travel.

Korean Air is making a big bet that this is the long haul plane of the future. Each Airbus aircraft retails for a little less than $400,000,000. That is a lot of zeroes, especially when Airbus is circulating pictures of futuristic planes that make the A380 look like a Cessna.

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