Seoul-based Star Alliance member Asiana Airlines placed an order for six Airbus A380 superjumbos, with deliveries starting in 2014.
Asiana has not yet decided about the configuration of the cabins, but announced that it will have three classes. In a statement, Asiana said its cabin specifications to be determined by year end will be “state-of-the-art” offering “distinct, high-end service.” The order is valued at around $1.8 billion based on list prices and complements another earlier Airbus order, which is for 30 A350’s.
It plans to operate the A380 aircraft, two of which will arrive in 2014, two in 2015 and two in 2017, to the US and/or Europe. “Asiana’s decision to acquire the A380 was based on the increase in the number of [free trade agreements] in which Korea is engaged and the recent addition of Korea to the US Visa Waiver Program,” President and CEO Young-Doo Yoon said. “Due to favorable factors like these, forecasts indicate a steady and stable 5% yearly increase of passengers to Korea and the Asia/Pacific region.” He added that “the significantly reduced operating costs and fuel efficiencies afforded by the aircraft will enable us to enhance our productivity and reduce our carbon footprint.”
Airbus has received 240 firm orders for the aircraft from 18 customers (see earlier post about the continent and airline breakdown).