Korean Air has scheduled the Airbus A380 on its flagship Seoul – New York route this summer, marking the first appearance of the “whale” jet for the Korean flag carrier since the pandemic began.
Korean Air A380 Will Return to New York JFK This Summer
Prior to the pandemic, Korean Air operated a fleet of Airbus A380-800, Boeing 777, and Boeing 747-8 jets to the United States. During the pandemic, however, all service to the USA has been on 777 jets.
That changes, however, in July with the A380 set to return to the Seoul (ICN) – New York (JFK) route from July 1, 2022 through October 12, 2022 (when it reverts back to a 777):
- KE 81 – Seoul (ICN) 10:00AM – New York (JFK) 11:20AM (14 hours, 20 minutes)
- KE 82 – New York (JFK) 1:40PM – Seoul (ICN) 1:40+1 (14hours, 55 minutes)
This does will mark the first time we’ve seen regularly-scheduled Korean Air A380 service since the pandemic. Starting in autumn 2020, Korean Air began operating an A380 between Seoul and Guangzhou (CAN), marking the earliest return of A380 to the skies. Despite the Mainland’s zero-COVID policy, once-weekly service has continued on the Korean Air A380, though the service is downgraded to an Airbus A330 in late July.
Looking at the long-term picture, Korean Air announced plans to retire its fleet of 10 A380s by 2026. But with demand picking up once again with borders around the world now reopening, those retirement plans may be pushed back (the retirement of the 747-8 was also announced, currently set for 2031).
Do keep in mind that much can happen between now and July and that aircraft types are not guaranteed. We could see a swap back to a 777, perhaps even at the last minute.
Korean Air has scheduled the return of the Airbus A380 jet on its Seoul – New York route, starting in July. With 407 seats onboard, the move represents a return of demand to a nation that only recently re-opened its borders without quarantine restrictions.