Korean Air has completed a six-year project to install premium seats and the latest in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems on all its passenger aircraft. The final refurbished aircraft, an Airbus A330-300, was put into service on the Seoul-Hong Kong route on 17 April.
For the past six years, from 2005 to 2011, Korean Air has refurbished 49 Boeing 777s, 747s and Airbus A330s. As a result, the entire fleet is now installed with new seats fitted with the latest IFE system in all classes.
Korean Air currently operates a total of 68 aircraft for mid- and long-haul passenger flights. Of the 68, 49 were refurbished and 19 were newly-introduced into the fleet with the new facilities already installed. On the 49 existing aircraft, 14,441 seats were upgraded at an investment of KRW360 billion (US$330 million).
The first phase, which took place from 2005 to 2008 saw the revamp of all classes on its 17 B747-400s. The second phase was then carried out from 2009 to 2011 and included a total of 32 B777 and A330 aircraft. Nine B777-200ERs, six B777-300ERs and four A330-200s were also added to the fleet.
The next-generation premium seats include Kosmo Suites, Kosmo Sleepers and Sleeper seats in First Class, Prestige Sleepers and Prestige Plus seats in Prestige Class, and New Economy and Economy seats in Economy Class. The B777s operating long-haul routes, such as those to the US and Europe, have been installed with Kosmo Suites. Costing KRW250 million per seat, the Kosmos Suite folds out into a 180-degree, full-flat bed and has been widened by 15cm to 67.3cm. This seat will also be installed on Korean Air’s A380s, which will be introduced from May.
The Prestige Sleeper seat can also transform into a 180-degree, full-flat bed, while the New Economy seat contains individual monitors which now measure 27cm, 5.6cm larger than before, and can be reclined up to 118 degrees.