Asiana Reportedly Flying Its Airbus A380 For India Repatriation

Asiana might be deploying its largest passenger jet for a repatriation flight from Delhi next week. Sources suggest that the A380 could be chosen to bring home South Korean citizens amid India’s second wave. Let’s find out more about this service.

Asiana A380
Asiana’s A380 fleet has not been flying scheduled services due to the lower demand. Photo: Getty Images

Demand

Asiana is reportedly stepping up its efforts to repatriate Korean citizens from India. The airline will operate three more flights from the country in the next week, including two from New Delhi and one from Bangalore, according to KBS World. This is in addition to the three flights already completed earlier in the month by the carrier.

However, it seems that the demand for repatriating citizens from India is not dying down. Asiana has reportedly scheduled an Airbus A380 on the Delhi-Incheon route on 28th May, boosting capacity greatly. The carrier has not been using its A380s since the pandemic began, although they have been flying some ghost flights.

Asiana Airlines coronavirus getty images
Both Korean Air and Asiana are adding more flights to India as demand continues to rise. Photo: Getty Images

Bookings for repatriation flights can only be made through the Korean Embassies in India or through the airline directly. Due to limited seats, many passengers might also struggle to find space at the last minute. There are currently no commercial services between India and South Korea, with connecting options also severely limited.

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Rare sighting

Asiana stopped flying to India in July 2019, leaving only Korean Air as a direct option for passengers. Even when it did fly, Asiana’s A380s were reserved for key routes like New York, Frankfurt, Sydney, Bangkok, Los Angeles, and more. This means seeing one of the jumbo jets in New Delhi will be a rare sighting.

Asiana’s A380 packs an impressing 495 seats over the two decks. This includes 417 seats in economy, 66 in business class, and 12 in business suites. This offers drastically more options than the airline’s flagship A350, which only seats 311.

Asiana A380
Asiana previously flew the A380 to popular destinations globally before the pandemic took hold. Photo: lasta29 via Wikimedia Commons

The A380 does serve well for repatriation services, where flying home the most citizens is crucial. British Airways also pulled one of its A380s out of storage to bring home UK citizens from South Africa last June.

Returning to service

While seeing an A380 these days is quite uncommon (unless you live in Dubai!), the jets are slowly returning. Asiana will resume flying its superjumbo on October 31st, resuming services to Frankfurt and Los Angeles.

Korean-Air-Asiana-Merger
Asiana has switched to the more efficient A350 for most of its flagship routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | JFKJets.com

Only one A380 is currently flying with Asiana, registered HL7641. This jet has been operating so-called “ghost flights” to keep pilots certified and the aircraft airworthy. Data from RadarBox.com shows that the last such flight was on May 15th, just a few days ago. If all goes well, the A380 could be flying passengers for the first time in over 15 months on the 28th of May.

What do you think about Asiana flying A380 repatriation services from India? Let us know in the comments!

 

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