Korean Air Lines Co. is removing the first-class seats on 27 international routes beginning in June as part of its restructuring efforts to improve profitability.
The company announced on May 1 that on the affected international routes, only two class seat options will be available -- prestige and economy.
Most of the destinations affected are on shorter routes. The airline will cut back on first class cabins on most flights to China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Most long-haul routes will be unaffected, such as the Americas and Europe. In particular, the firm will remove the first class cabin on only two routes -- for Vancouver and Toronto in Canada -- out of the 20 routes to the Americas which are in a high demand for business trips. It will also remove its first class seats on only four of its 18 European routes. The affected routes are for Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, Istanbul in Turkey and Zagreb in Croatia
Instead, first class seats will be removed on most of its routes to China, Southeast Asia and Japan, with some exceptions to major routes. For China, the airline will additionally remove the first class cabins on its 27 routes, except for six from Gimpo and Incheon to Beijing, Gimpo and Incheon to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei. For Southeast Asia, it will apply the dual-class seat option on its 23 routes, except forseven bound for Bangkok in Thailand, Singapore, Manila in thePhilippines, Jakarta in Indonesia, KualaLumpur inMalaysia and HoChiMinh and Hanoi in Vietnam.
For Japan, first class will be removed from its 12 routes, except for five from Gimpo to Haneda, Incheon to Narita, Gimpo and Incheon to Osaka and Incheon to Nagoya.