Korean Air has selected Vietnam as the first country in Southeast Asia where it will operate its new Airbus A321neo. Next Monday, May 1st, Korean Air is putting the A321neo to work on one of its most popular Southeast Asian routes from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Korean Air operates three daily flights from Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Ho Chi Minh City, KE469, KE475 and KE477. The Airbus A321neo will be used on KE469, which departs Seoul Incheon at 09:05 and arrives at Ho Chi Minh’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) at 12:40, with an average flight time of around five hours. The return flight, KE470, departs SGN at 13:55 and lands in Seoul at 21:25.
This service is currently operated by a Boeing 737-800, which the A321neo will replace from next Monday. The KE475 service, which departs Seoul at 19:10, uses a Boeing 777-300ER, while the later KE477 leaves at 20:05 and is operated by an Airbus A330-300. It is an excellent example of an airline matching the aircraft type to demand on the same route throughout the day, a strategy that Airbus promotes heavily to its Asian customers.
Why use the A321neo for this route?
Korean Air’s (Korean) A321neo is configured in a two-class layout of 182 seats, with eight full-flat Prestige Class seats and 174 economy seats. This is the first narrowbody in Korean’s fleet to be fitted with fully lie-flat business-class seats. They are equipped with a 44-centimeter (17-inch) personal monitor for audio/video on demand IFE and a wireless smartphone charger.
Korean Air is also the first Asian airline to feature Airbus’ Airspace cabin on an A321neo. Airspace cabins are designed to replicate the passenger experience on whichever Airbus aircraft they are on, be it an A350, A330 or A320-family plane. In Korean’s Airspace cabin, the overhead bins are 40% larger than other A321neos, and the cabin’s unique and customizable lighting system is designed to set the mood to suit the stage of flight, from boarding to meal times or sleeping.
The Korea-Vietnam market is big business
In the first three months of 2023, Vietnam received 2.7 million international visitor arrivals, nearly thirty times higher than in 2022. Of those visitors, 811,000 (30%) came from South Korea, making it the largest source of international visitor arrivals in the first quarter of this year. Korean’s Ho Chi Minh City Sales Director, Kyeyong Kim said:
“Vietnam is a growing market for Korean Air and remains one of our most important markets. Many Korean and foreign companies have been investing in Vietnam, fuelling demand for business travel.
“Vietnam is an important inbound market for Korean Air, but also a significant outbound market because many people travelling from Vietnam fly to North America and elsewhere on Korean Air via our hub in Seoul Incheon.”
Korean will receive thirty A321neos by 2027 and deploy them on routes from Korea to Southeast Asia, Japan and China. The airline operates to 120 cities in 43 countries with a fleet of 156 aircraft and is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance and a joint-venture partner with Delta Air Lines.
Source : Simple Fyling