Present at the ceremony to celebrate the delivery of the aircraft, representing Korean Air, was the airline’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Mr. Walter Cho; and president and CEO for commercial aircraft, Mr. Ray Conner, representing Boeing.
With the addition of the B747- 8 Intercontinental to its fleet, Korean Air became the first airline in the world to operate both types of the B747-8. About 70% of the aircraft, by structural weight, incorporates new advanced aluminum alloys and carbon composites to reduce the weight drastically and giving a 16% improvement in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor the 747- 400, while generating 30% less noise.
With a range of 14,815 kilometres, the new B747 will be the fastest wide body passenger jet in the world with a normal cruising speed of Mach 0.86.
Korean Air’s new B747-8 Intercontinental is configured with 368 seats in a three-class configuration; 6 First Class, 48 Prestige Class (26 seats on the upper deck and 22 seats on the main deck) and 314 Economy Class. The aircraft also features new First Class Kosmo Suites 2.0 designed with a sliding door and higher partitions to provide added privacy for passengers. Suites are also equipped with updated in-flight entertainment systems, with large 24-inch high-definition monitors and new handheld touch remotes. The airline’s Prestige Class Suites will feature staggered seating and privacy panels, along with 18” high definition touch screens. The aircraft also features an all-new, 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that includes new curved, upswept architecture, giving passengers the feel of more space and comfort.
Korean Air began operate its B747-8 Intercontinental from Seoul on the Frankfurt and Singapore routes in September. The airline also plans to introduce the aircraft on the San Francisco and Hong Kong routes from November. Korean Air has also signed MOUs with Airbus and Boeing for the purchase of more than 100 new aircraft, the largest fleet order made in Korean aviation history. The purchase will be a stepping stone for the airline’s evolution and enhanced flight safety by replacing older mid-long haul aircraft with newer and more fuel-efficient ones.