The first country in Southeast Asia where Korean Air will operate its new Airbus A321neo aircraft is Vietnam. On Monday, May 1st, Korean Air will begin using the A321neo on one of its most popular Southeast Asian routes, Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Korean Air operates daily flights KE469, KE475 and KE477 from Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Ho Chi Minh City. The Airbus A321neo will be utilized on flight KE469, which departs Seoul Incheon at 09:05 and lands at Ho Chi Minh’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) at 12:40, with a flight duration of approximately five hours. Return flight KE470 departs San Francisco at 13:55 and arrives in Seoul at 21:25.
This service is presently operated by a Boeing 737-800, which will be replaced by the A321neo beginning next Monday. The 19:10 departure of KE475 is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, while the 20:05 departure of KE477 is handled by an Airbus A330-300. Airbus extensively promotes this strategy to its Asian clients.
Why utilize an A321neo on this route?
The A321neo of Korean Air (Korean) is configured with 182 seats in a two-class configuration, with eight fully-flat Prestige Class seats and 174 economy seats. This is the first narrow-body aircraft in Korean’s fleet to feature completely flat business-class seats. They have a 17-inch (44 cm) personal monitor for audio/video on demand IFE and a wireless smartphone recharge.
Korean Air is also the first airline in Asia to incorporate the Airspace cabin on an A321neo. Airspace accommodations are designed to replicate the experience passengers have on any Airbus aircraft, be it an A350, A330, or A320-family aircraft.
The overhead bins in Korean’s Airspace cabin are 40% larger than those of other A321neos, and the cabin’s unique and customizable lighting system is designed to set the atmosphere for each stage of the flight, from boarding to meals or sleeping.
The Korea-Vietnam market is a lucrative one.
In the first three months of 2023, Vietnam will receive nearly thirty times as many international visitors as it did in 2022. South Korea was the main source of international visitors during the first three months of this year, with 811,000 visitors (30% of the total). Director of Sales for Korean in Ho Chi Minh City, Kyeyong Kim, stated:
“Vietnam is a growing market for Korean Air and remains one of our most important markets. Many Korean and foreign companies have been investing in Vietnam, fuelling demand for business travel.
“Vietnam is an important inbound market for Korean Air, but also a significant outbound market because many people travelling from Vietnam fly to North America and elsewhere on Korean Air via our hub in Seoul Incheon.”
By 2027, Korean will have acquired thirty A321neos, which will be deployed on routes from Korea to Southeast Asia, Japan, and China. The airline serves 120 locations in 43 countries with 156 aircraft and is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance as well as a joint venture partner of Delta Air Lines.