The most recent airline to take delivery of the Airbus A380 is Asiana, which started intra-Asia A380 service in mid-June. Their A380 launch routes were Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong, which makes sense given that they’re both short routes with high demand.
Back in March Asiana announced that their first longhaul A380 destination would be Los Angeles, as of August 15, 2014. I was very excited about this, and managed to snag a first class award seat on the flight using Avianca LifeMiles.
The reasoning behind waiting two months before starting longhaul operations is twofold:
- To work out and kinks and train crews on the aircraft on shorthaul flights first, so that they’re putting their best foot forward when they start longhaul operations (when British Airways took delivery of their first A380, they first flew it between London and Frankfurt for several weeks)
- To wait for the second A380 delivery, since it takes two A380s to operate daily service to Los Angeles, and they weren’t taking delivery of two A380s at once
While not as extreme as the delays that Qatar Airways is experiencing with their A380s (which sure seem to be self inflicted), it does appear as if there may be a delay in Asiana’s A380 service to LAX.
Asiana’s promotional A380 website still lists A380 service to Los Angeles as of August 15, 2014.
However, in looking at their actual schedule, they’re now showing a 747-400 on the Los Angeles route through August 25, 2014.
The same is true for the other routes which were scheduled to get the A380. They were also supposed to send the A380 to Bangkok and Osaka starting July 24, 2014, but those A380 flights are delayed as well. Per airlineroute.net:
ASIANA AIRLINES is delaying planned introduction of Airbus A380 service to Osaka, Bangkok and Los Angeles, as a result of apparent delay of aircraft delivery. Revised A380 operations as follow.
eff 30JUL14 Seoul Incheon – Bangkok OZ741/742 5 weekly, until 13AUG14 (14AUG14 from BKK)
eff 01AUG14 Seoul Incheon – Osaka Kansai OZ112/111 daily, until 14AUG14
eff 26AUG14 Seoul Incheon – Los Angeles OZ202/201 daily
So if you booked Asiana in July or August solely to be on the A380 (like I did), beware!
(Tip of the hat to Gary)