Korea Herald carried a piece, “Asiana to remove nearly all its first-class seats” the upshot of which is that Asiana is losing money and plans to keep first class only on its Airbus A380 aircraft.
Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s No. 2 flag carrier, said Wednesday it plans to eliminate almost all its first-class seats from its international flights as part of an effort to cut losses.
…The airline’s loss during the April-June period widened to 85.4 billion won ($71.63 million) from the previous year’s loss of 11.8 billion won, with sales falling to 1.3 trillion won from the previous 1.4 trillion won over the cited period.
“Considering that our company is at an absolutely inferior position in terms of supply of first-class seats, all other flights will change to a two-class system, while the first class will remain on our four Airbus 380 airliners,” Kim Soo-cheon, chief executive officer of Asiana, told employees via a video message.
…Of the company’s 74 airliners, only 20 provide first-class seats, and 12 others are run on a mono-class basis.
That means the end of first class on Boeing 747s and 777s.
New York JFK – Seoul and Los Angeles – Seoul currently receive Airbus A380 service. Assuming the A380s stay on those routes, first class would appear to be safe.
There’s a second Los Angeles – Seoul flight operated by a Boeing 777. Presumably that flight will lose first class. (The second Los Angeles flight used to be two-cabin.)
Frankfurt – Seoul is generally serviced by a Boeing 747-400. The 747s are slated to be phased out anyway. At various times London and Chicago has had first class service.
We’re going to see less first class from Asiana, though I’m pleased they’ll be keeping it on their Airbus A380 aircraft. Whether there’s a future for Asiana first class into the future then, even, is a question market.
Interestingly, their Seoul-based rival Korean Air has first class on a greater percentage of its fleet than most carriers even offering the service on many intra-Asia routes and on most long haul services. That makes for great award space. And the airline has managed to perform better financial than Asiana (though I’m not suggesting any causality).