Posted August. 08, 2005 03:04,
World-class premium service has arrived in the Korean airline industry, as well.
Starting August 6, the Korean Airlines (KAL) deployed B777-200 aircrafts for its Incheon to New York route (around 13 hours), after buying two of them. The B777-200 costs $160 million (around 160 billion won) per aircraft and is equipped with Audio Video on Demand (AVOD), the Internet, satellite telephones, and the latest style seats for its cabin services.
KAL plans to expand the above mentioned services onto all mid- and long-range flights by 2007. Prior to the deployment of B777-200 onto flights, Dong-A Ilbo experienced firsthand the state-of-the-art services inside the B777-200 aircraft that were open to the public at an aircraft repair base at Incheon International Airport on August 5.
Services Ranging from Movies to Music to Satellite telephones-
The most outstanding feature was the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors based on touch screen systems installed on the backs of all seats, including economy class. Economy class and business class have 6.4-inch (16 centimeters), and first class has 15-inch (38 centimeters) monitors.
Passengers can enjoy 41 movies, 1,220 music selections, and 60 pieces of dramas and children-oriented programs to suit their own tastes thanks to an audio-visual selector system on the monitors. Passengers also can play 20 different kinds of games such as poker and golf, and display a map of a city passengers heading three dimensionally appears on the flight information system (FIS).
The FIS can be used in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese.
In addition, every seat has outlets. Internet is available on a lap-top using a LAN port and Wireless LAN Card. The speed was 135 kbps. The speed was far slower than high-speed Internet, whose speed exceeds 4 Mpbs. Although it was hard to see moving pictures, it was ok for text. Each seat has satellite phones and the fee is $9.50 per minute. The satellite phone also serves as an interphone between seats, and can be used as remote control and game device as well.
First Class Worth 100 Million Won in Investment-
Deputy general director Woo Ki-hong of the Passenger Safety and Development Department at KAL said that the cushion of an economy class seat was made thinner than previous ones, so the distance between seats got longer by five to 86 centimeters. However, it was still difficult to stretch ones legs.
Seats in business class leaned back 170 degrees and an air pump placed at the back of the seats gave a massage by repeating expansions and contractions.
First class seats featured an eye-catching cocoon style. The design team of Sogerma, a French sheet company, made the seats.
So far, a total of 12 seats were in first class, with two rows of two seats on the right and left sides, and in the middle, but the B777-200 aircraft has only eight seats in its first class, with two rows of one seat on the right and left sides and two rows of two seats in the middle.
The ticket price for the aircraft is same as the previous one from Incheon to New York. The round-trip fare for first class is approximately 7.5 million won. Foreign airlines also offer these premium services on some flights.
KAL President and Chief Operating Officer Lee Jong-hee stated, Because the competition in the airline industry is so fierce, an airline cant survive, unless it differentiates itself from others