Earlier in the week I posted about Asiana’s announcement that their first A380 longhaul destination will be Los Angeles, and that the service would commence sometime in July. Somehow I overlooked the announcement that was actually made prior to that, not only confirming that Los Angeles would be the first destination, but exactly when the service would commence.
Per Asiana’s Facebook page (bolding mine):
Asiana Airlines’ President Soo Cheon Kim revealed the company’s plans and strategy for introducing the A380 on February 10, 2014 at a press conference in Seoul.
Asiana will receive two A380 aircraft which will commence operations to Los Angeles from July 30, 2014. These aircraft are expected to further enhance the quality of one of Asiana’s most popular long haul destinations. Prior to being introduced on the Los Angeles route, Asiana plans to temporarily utilize the A380s on short and medium haul international destinations like Tokyo Narita, Osaka, Hong Kong and Bangkok from June.
Asiana’s A380 strategy will place primary focus on the maximization of seat efficiency and the enhancement of premium seat quality. The new aircraft will consist of a total of 495 seats–12 First Class, 66 Business Class, and 417 Travel Class seats. Asiana specifically designed this new aircraft to enhance seat efficiency and to meet the demands of each class.
So the A380 service to Los Angeles is scheduled to begin on July 30, even though they haven’t yet updated the aircraft type in the GDS. I would assume OZ201/202 will change from a 747 to an A380. Keep in mind this is always subject to change, so I wouldn’t totally count on this being set in stone.
For what it’s worth, in the first six (or so) weeks of service, there are a dozen dates with first class award availability between Los Angeles and Seoul Incheon on OZ201.
The best way to book this flight would be using Avianca Lifemiles or US Airways Dividend Miles. Lifemiles charges 75,000 miles for a one-way in first class, while US Airways charges 120,000 US Airways miles for roundtrip first class to North Asia (though they’ll be leaving the Star Alliance on March 30, so you’ll want to book that sooner rather than later).
(Tip of the hat to Kai)