Korean Air Launches the World’s Shortest Airbus A380 Route to Taipei

January 26th, 2023
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Korean Air Launches the World’s Shortest Airbus A380 Route to Taipei

Korean Air has announced that it will deploy the A380 between Seoul Incheon and Taipei between February and March. According to its latest schedule filing, the route is now bookable. The double-decker will return after three years on the route of 907 miles (1,460 km), which will be Taiwan’s only A380 service between February 2020 and February 2021.

What’s going on?

It runs until March 25th, the day before Korean Air switches to summer schedules like other carriers in the Northern Hemisphere, when it will reintroduce the A380 between Seoul and Taipei.

A380s will exclusively operate on this route during this period. According to Cirium, Korean Air last deployed the A380 to Taipei 1x daily in March 2019, after which it was a few times a week.

It replaces the A330 and the 737

Cirium schedules indicate the A380 will primarily replace Korean Air’s 284-seat A330-300 in February and March, which have 24 business seats and 260 economy seats.

On most days, Korean Air will have 43% more seats to sell due to the new equipment. First-class returns will have 292% more business seats (+70), and economy will have 16% more seats (+41).

As an added bonus, the A380 will also replace the 737-800, as Cirium shows. Korean Air scheduled the 737-800 flights for Mondays in that period with 138 seats: 12 business seats and 126 economy seats. With the A380, nearly three times as many seats will be available on Mondays, up by 263 each way.

World’s shortest A380 route

According to schedules for February 1st to March 25th, Seoul-Taipei will be the world’s shortest A380 route. In addition, the second shortest is a Dubai-Bangkok-Hong Kong routing, and Bangkok-Hong Kong-Bangkok is fully bookable on a fifth freedom basis.