Another carrier has begun taking the Airbus A320neo family into its fleet, with Korean Air taking delivery of its first Airbus A321neo
This is the first of 30 A320neo family aircraft for the carrier. The aircraft features Korean Air’s radically new interior and new design language, featuring eight full-flat seats in Business Class and 174 in Economy.
Prestige Class (the Korean Air business class brand) is laid out in a 2-2 affair with the seats being able to go fully flat.
Korean Air postures that The A321neo’s fully lie-flat business seats will provide seamless comfort to transfer passengers, who have combined itineraries of long-haul flights on the Americas and Europe routes, and short-haul flights on Southeast Asia, China and Japan routes.
Meanwhile, Economy Class will feature a 3-3 seating layout that is common to the type.
In-Flight entertainment will be provided on these aircraft, with a 17″ screen in business class and a 13″ screen in economy class.
Inflight internet will be available for purchase on the A321neo from the first half of next year. Starting from the A321neo, the airline will expand internet services to newly-introduced aircraft.
For all passengers, the aircraft features the new Airbus Airspace cabin, bringing premium widebody features to the single-aisle market. these include new lighting and ambience systems, larger overhead bins and full connectivity throughout.
The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines, bringing a 25% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions per seat compared with previous-generation competing aircraft, allowing for reduced operating costs.
The airline intends to deploy this aircraft from December 2022 onwards, with it planned to operate on short-haul routes, including Southeast Asia, China and Japan.
Soo Keun Lee, Executive Vice President and Chief Safety & Operation Officer of Korean Air said:
“We are delighted to receive our first A321neo, which will be a great asset to our fleet, network and passengers,” said
“This fuel-efficient, next-generation A321neo will bring our customers’ experience to a new level with the award-winning Airspace cabin and fully lie-flat business class seats.”
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International added:
“By adding the A321neo to its fleet, Korean Air will benefit from enhanced operational efficiency and the highest levels of in-flight comfort,”
“With the A321neo’s per-seat fuel improvements of at least 25% compared with Korean Air’s previous generation same-sized fleet, the airline will reduce its operating costs significantly, as well as emissions at the same time.”
Further Deployments ahead
Korean Air is in the process of modernising its fleet, with 30 Airbus 321neo aircraft due to be delivered by 2027.
The airline currently has firm orders for Boeing 737 MAX 8, Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 787-10. They also hold further options for the Airbus A220, Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX families
As airlines seek to replace their fleets, removing less efficient (and more costly) aircraft from their fleets, expect the orders to flow still.
And with them flowing – we can hope for passenger experience upgrades in the cabin to make the journey more enjoyable.
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