Aviation News

August 9, 2011

New Korean Air Airbus A380 Makes First Flight to America

Water cannon salute for Korean Air's first Airbus A380 arrival to New York JFK Airport Terminal 1

Korean Air’s first transpacific Airbus A380 flight arrived in New York today, also marking the first scheduled use by any carrier of the superjumbo between east Asia and the east coast of North America.

Water cannon salute for Korean Air's first Airbus A380 arrival to New York JFK Airport Terminal 1

Water cannon salute for Korean Air's first Airbus A380 (HL7612) arrival to New York JFK Airport Terminal 1. (Photo by Matt Molnar)

More photos below…

With only 407 seats — 121 fewer than the current most densely configured A380 — Korean Air hopes to attract business class flyers on their 12-14 hour trips between Seoul and New York, as well as other long-haul destinations in Europe and Asia.

Korean’s business class cabin, dubbed Prestige Class, consists of 94 lie-flat seats, filling the entire upper deck of the aircraft. The main level is made up of 12 Kosmo Suites for first class passengers and 301 economy class seats with a very respectable 34-in. of seat pitch.

Flights 81 and 82 to and from JFK will be operated with A380 equipment three days a week until September 1st, after which it will go daily thanks to a third A380 joining the fleet. (The airline’s Boeing 777 aircraft will the other flights).

It is also the first A380 livery so far to feature a dominant color other than white. Gawkers at the three-week-old jet were overheard comparing it to a “big, shiny Tiffany box.”

The tight turn of the day’s schedule prevented us from getting a tour of the new plane, but we hope to get a peek onboard soon.

Korean Air second Airbus A380 rolls to JFK Terminal 1

Korean Air’s second Airbus A380 rolls to JFK Terminal 1.

Up close with the big bird

Up close with the big bird.

Tug grabs the massive jet's nose wheel for a ride to the gate

Tug grabs the massive jet’s nose wheel for a ride to the gate.

A380 welcome event set up at Gate 5

A380 welcome event set up at Gate 5.



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  • Anonymous

    This is a masterpiece of aviation. What a wonderful sight! I will make sure to stop by Terminal 1 @ JFK to get a view for myself one day.

    • Indeed! It’s quite amazing to see how small people are compared to the size of that beauty. It’s huge, and no matter how many years it has been since the birth of planes, seeing one take flight is still a marvelous feat. Kudos to the makers of this airbus, making sure that the quality of its machinery is great and all.

      Joshua Green

  • David Burlison

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