The passenger version of the Boeing 747-8 has been a bit of a flop unfortunately, as only a few airlines have ordered it. Ultimately the twin engine widebody aircraft are much more versatile and fuel efficient, so it’s tough for most airlines to justify aircraft like the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A380.
Lufthansa 747-8 at Frankfurt Airport
Lufthansa was the first airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-8, and for a long time was the only airline operating it. Then a few months ago Air China took delivery of their first Boeing 747-8.
The third airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-8 will be Korean Air, and they’ve just announced that the first longhaul route operated by the aircraft will be Seoul Incheon to London Heathrow.
Via airlineroute.net, Korean Air will be launching 747-8 service between Seoul Incheon and London Heathrow as of August 2, 2015:
KE907 Seoul to London departing 1:00PM arriving 5:25PM
KE908 London to Seoul departing 7:35PM arriving 2:25PM (+1 day)
The route will initially operate 3x weekly using a 747-8, though by September 1, 2015, the flight will be operated daily by a Boeing 747-8. This replaces the Boeing 777-300ER presently operating the route.
Korean Air 777-300ER
Korean Air is excellent about opening up first class award availability on their own flights, so as you’d expect award availability is excellent, even on the inaugural flights, with three first class seats on the outbound and two on the return:
What’s most interesting, however, is Korean Air’s 747-8 configuration. The Korean Air 747-8 will feature a total of 368 seats, including:
- 6 first class seats
- 48 business class seats
- 314 economy class seats
First class will be in the nose, with just three seats on each side of the cabin, and no seats in the center of the cabin:
Assuming that takes up the entire nose section (which I assume it will), that’s a really spacious configuration. Even Lufthansa has eight seats in that area, and they have a very spacious configuration.
It makes me wonder if they’ll introduce a new first class product, given that Korean Air hasn’t really done much to innovate their hard product over the years.
Business class will be split between the upper and lower deck, with 22 seats on the upper deck and 26 seats on the lower deck.
Only 22 seats on the upper deck is extremely spacious — Lufthansa fits 32 seats in the same area!
Korean Air has a total of 10 of these on order, so I’m keen to eventually fly on one. I can’t wait to see what the interior of their 747-8s looks like.
Anyone have plans to fly Korean Air’s new 747-8? And any guesses as to why their first class cabin is so spacious?