Asiana Introducing Double Daily A380 Flights To LAX

Seoul Incheon-based Asiana Airlines took delivery of their first A380 in 2014. I had the chance to fly Asiana’s A380 first class between Los Angeles and Seoul Incheon shortly after the service launched, given that Los Angeles was their first longhaul destination using the A380.

Star-Alliance-First-Lounge-LAX-42

Asiana has a fantastic soft product — the food and service are consistently top notch.

Asiana-A380-First-Class-077

However, the hard product leaves a bit to be desired. While Asiana’s A380 first class product is better than their old product, the cabins have extremely unappealing finishes, in my opinion. If I didn’t know any better I’d assume I were flying a UPS passenger plane based on the colors.

Asiana-A380-First-Class-001

The entertainment is also lacking, and there’s no wifi. Still, I love the A380, and it’s an absolute joy to fly thanks to how quiet and smooth it is — I’ve reviewed every A380 first class product out there, including Air France, British Airways, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad AirwaysKorean Air, LufthansaMalaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar AirwaysSingapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

As of now Asiana has four A380s, which they fly once daily to Los Angeles, and once daily to New York JFK as of June 2015.

Asiana has another two A380s on order, for a total of six A380s. They should be taking delivery of their next one in the coming months, and Asiana has revealed their plans with the additional aircraft. Asiana will offer twice daily A380 service between Seoul Incheon and Los Angeles as of October 30, 2016.

ICN-LAX

This includes the flight which is presently operated by the A380:

OZ202 Seoul to Los Angeles departing 2:40PM arriving 8:40AM
OZ201 Los Angeles to Seoul departing 11:00AM arriving 5:30PM (+1 day)

As well as the flight which will be upgraded from a 777-200 to an A380 as of October 30, 2016:

OZ204 Seoul to Los Angeles departing 8:20PM arriving 2:15PM
OZ203 Los Angeles to Seoul departing 12:30AM arriving 6:50AM (+1 day)

This means that in total there will be four daily A380 flights between Seoul Incheon and Los Angeles — two on Korean Air, and two on Asiana. This makes Asiana the third airline to offer 2x daily A380s to Los Angeles, after Korean Air and Emirates, which is adding a second daily A380 flight as of July 2016.

Korean-Air-A380

Asiana first class award availability between Los Angeles and Seoul Incheon is excellent in general, with two first class seats typically available per flight. That’s also true of the new frequency. Nowadays international first class award tickets are quite expensive to redeem for. Your best bet is probably booking through Avianca LifeMiles, which charges 90,000 miles for one-way first class between the US and much of Asia.

Asiana-First-Class-Awards

For what it’s worth, the 777 presently operating between Los Angeles and Seoul doesn’t have a first class cabin, so Asiana is essentially doubling first class capacity in the market.

Bottom line

It’s no surprise that Asiana is doubling down on Los Angeles, given the size of the Korean population there, and also what a popular destination it is for Koreans. It’s still pretty crazy to think that there will be 4x daily A380 flights between Los Angeles and Seoul Incheon. I’m also curious where Asiana deploys the 777s which are currently operating that second daily frequency.

So for anyone who was hoping Asiana would get creative with deploying their additional A380s, it looks like we shouldn’t expect to see them far beyond Los Angeles and New York.

Comments

  1. I don’t understand why you complain that OZ’s cabins are bland, yet you rave about the cabins on AA (which are the most boring sterile interiors in the sky today).

  2. @ Arcanum — Not sure I rave about the aesthetics of American’s cabins, but rather I rave about the comfort.

  3. We booked a trip to HKG later this year using United Miles and was able to get Biz class on that Asiana 12:30am flight. We were happy to have Biz class on the 777 but now we’re super excited to be on the A380! It’ll be our first flight on one!

    Do you have a review of their business class product on the A380?

  4. Never had the pleasure to fly on Asiana premium cabin, only their long haul coach. I flew them on SEA-ICN route on their A330. The seat pitch is very generous (I suspect 34″). I am still waiting for the other ‘Korean’ airlines for you to review, you know, the one over the 38th parallel … 🙂

  5. Lucky,
    the 777 that is currently serving the 2nd ICN-LAX flight does have a 1st class cabin.
    It is a 3-cabin bird with new business and 1st classes.

  6. @ Tom — It did for a while, but if you look at the inventory now, you’ll see that business is the highest cabin they’re selling.

  7. @Lucky – interesting…I didn’t know they silently changed the equipment on this route.
    I was in the 1st class cabin on this route on the 777 last summer.
    Thanks for pointing it out!

  8. @asar It’s not just Korean population (albeit there are an estimated 347,882 Koreans living in the LA area) but I suspect they do a lot of connection traffic too in Seoul. In a number of instances, OZ and KE flights are pretty cost competitive in East Asia. For example, if you want to go to Hong Kong, OZ and KE flights are generally $200-500 dollars cheaper for a RT ticket per person. For a middle to upper middle class family of 4 that is flying Economy, those savings are obviously significant even if it means spending a few hours in Seoul (or alternatively, Taipei if EVA or China Airlines is cheaper)

  9. I agree that Asiana’s interior looks pretty bland. One main reason is that their company color is gold/beigish color.
    Although everyone has their preference, I actually prefer Asiana’s bland interior to Emirates flashy interior, which I honestly think it’s quite gaudy. (It reminds me of TRUMP actually)

  10. @Daniel – haha I actually agree. I much prefer understatedness (if it’s at least quality and functioning) than the flashiness of Emirates. Perhaps that’s the product of being raised in a Hong Konger household. Plus, flashy TRUMP like gold plating and stuff seems very 80s to me…

  11. The density of the Korean Air A380 is very low – barely more than 400 passengers. So, given that and the large number and O&D passengers, the route surely has the demand for 4 A380’s + the 3x weekly 777/A330 (that continues onto Sao Paulo).

    Lucky, BA has double daily A380’s, just not year round.

  12. QF also has double daily A380 service. Just not from the same city (daily SYD and MEL to LAX…)

  13. I normally buy tickets through an agency which buys tickets with miles in order to get big discounts on premium class tickets.
    For HKG-LAX-HKG, I often get Asiana through ICN, which is great as the product is really good. Given there is constant availability for award tickets, I am a bit surprised they are running a now 2 flights a day.

  14. Competitiveness in air fare – that’s what makes Asiana shine in all of Asia. Everyone loves its 5-star service and inflight food and other amenities – even in economy class. I am from Manila.

  15. Travelling to Manila is not just cheaper when bought early at Asiana compared to Philippine Airlines but service is also way way much better if you don’t mind spent a little time at ICHN me personally I’d much better to get good service and price than a direct flight and you get treated right the reason why Asaina and Korean air can afford to fill this flights so basically not just Koreans filling up this plane.

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