The A380’s first operation to Seoul and Emirates’ first A380 flight to Northeast Asia took place on December 14, 2009. The first commercial A380 jet landing at Incheon International Airport contained passengers from 27 countries. Seoul is Emirates’ sixth A380 destination. The new service demonstrates Emirates’ investment in the Korean economy, perfectly timed to support the “2010-2012 Visit Korea Year.” A high-level Emirates delegation led by Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline travelled on the first A380 flight. “Emirates is delighted to launch Korea’s first A380 service. Our partners at Incheon International Airport have invested heavily to make the airport a world-class A380 facility and for this we thank them,” said Mr. Clark upon being greeted by CW Lee, President and CEO of Incheon International Airport Corporation, YJ Woo, Chief Administrator of Seoul Regional Aviation Administration, and Sonia Hong, Secretary General of Visit Korea Committee.
Mr. Clark believes air transportation is a key facilitator of economic growth. Since launching services to Seoul in 2005, Emirates have stimulated the flow of business and leisure traffic to and from Korea. Emirates have connected Korea to potential and emerging Middle East and African markets, thus creating new business opportunities. Emirates’ have served the needs of over 70,000 Korean travelers, both corporate and leisure, visiting the UAE annually.
The UAE and Korea share close relations, with Korea a major stakeholder in Dubai’s expansion and Korean companies involved in some of the most high-profile projects in the UAE. At the same time, Korea is one of the UAE’s major trading partners, with over 150% growth in total trade over the past five years. The UAE, particularly Dubai, contains the highest Korean population in the Middle East. In addition, nearly 1,000 Koreans are employees by Emirates, primarily as cabin crew.
Emirates’ A380 operations will support the Korean government’s efforts to make Incheon International Airport a major hub of Asia. “I am delighted Emirate has chosen Incheon International Airport as its first A380 destination in Northeast Asia. We now boast a world-class A380 facility with completion of all our infrastructure upgrades,” said CW Lee. The Emirates’ A380 represents the latest technology, with its unique features such as Shower Spas - two fully equipped bathrooms in the First class cabin with shower facilities. Another unique feature includes an Onboard Lounge for First and Business class passengers containing a full-service bar. First class passenger can relax on flat-beds, while Business class passengers enjoy flat-bed seating designed to ensure all seats have aisle access. Economy class seats have been enhanced, while straight walls feature throughout the cabin, allowing more rooms for seats and wider aisles.
Emirates has experienced rapid and steady growth and has received more than 400 international awards since its launch in 1985. The airline is offering special prices for 23 destinations in Europe in celebration of Korea’s first A380 operation. From January 11 to March 31, passengers can fly to 23 destinations in Europe, including London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Zurich and Istanbul for 900,000 won roundtrip. This exclusive offer will be applied to tickets purchased before January 31, 2010 with departures limited to weekdays until March 31.