Asiana LAX A380 Flights Begin July 30, 2014

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.

ANA-Asiana-1 ANA-Asiana-2 ANA-Asiana-3 ANA-Asiana-4 ANA-Asiana-5

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)

Comments

  1. AdamH says

    Think I am just going to miss this unless they get the plane early and start testing it out on HKG-ICN. :(

  2. Stuart Falk says

    I’m booked on OZ 201 from LAX to Seoul on October 10 and Asiana’s Web site is still showing the equipment as being a 747 400.

  3. says

    Do you think then they change the aircraft in the GDS they might release more award space, since there are now 12 seats? I’m currently on the 77W ICN-JFK and would rather return to LAX. Being on an A380 would be icing on the cake.

  4. Sam says

    OZ 201& 202 are usually the 747 combi planes. These carry cargo in their back halfs (probably Samsung stuff). What will they use for this cargo given that their A380s will not have cargo space?

    Also, Asiana’s A380s will have about 100 more seats than KAL’s A380s. It doesn’t look like there will be space for the cool lounges! No duty free store is no loss.

  5. Sang Kancil Guru says

    @matt,

    Dont worry. They more than make up for it with their life-saving flight attendants, quite possibly the best in the world!

  6. Su says

    how do you use LM to book first class? Whenever I use LM, I can only get business, not first. Do you have a tip or something? Thank you

  7. says

    @ Ben Hughes — I wouldn’t be surprised to see them release more space when they change the aircraft type. Or maybe it will have the opposite effect and they’ll release space, as it’s the “suites” product.

  8. says

    @ Sam — As far as I know the A380 has considerably more cargo room than a standard 747, and since this isn’t an especially long flight they wouldn’t have to compromise too much fuel for cargo.

  9. says

    @ Su — If you enter “first class” as the class of service you should have no issue booking Asiana first class on the route, assuming there’s availability.

  10. Dylan says

    Have they indicated it will be 201/202? Given that they usually charge more for 203/204 which has the better seats and 772 at the moment, it would not surprise me if they move the 772 to 201/202, and use the A380 for 203/204. The night flight is generally more popular with business travelers.

  11. says

    @ Dylan — They haven’t indicated for sure, though I’d almost be willing to bet it will be 201/202. That way all their flights will feature their new product, which I think they’re going for on the LA route anyway.

  12. Stripy says

    Given the fact there have been serious questions surrounding pilot training and pilot familiarity with 777s, I’ll be giving Asiana’s A380s a very wide birth. Plenty of other ways to get where they fly and plenty of other ways to try out the A380.

  13. DJ says

    I am trying to change a UA award booked before the deval, looking at LAX->ICN on OZ 201 for Aug 30. If this switches to A380 it will be GREAT!!! Will you book now?

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