Asiana receives 1st A350, strengthens customer service
SEOUL-- Asiana Airlines Inc. on Wednesday received its first A350-900 aircraft that will allow it to strengthen its customer service on international routes starting next month.
Asiana, South Korea's second-biggest flag carrier by sales, will put the wide-body jet that can seat 311 people initially on the Incheon-Manila route from May 15, the company said.
"The introduction of the technologically advanced A350 to our fleet will allow us to better compete with rivals on mid and long-range routes," Asiana Airlines President Kim Soo-cheon said in a statement.
Asiana said its wide-body jet offers roaming services for mobile phones used by passengers, the first of its kind on a plane. The planes, moreover, have free Wi-Fi that can greatly enhance the convenience of travelers.
The carrier originally planned to assign the twin-engine airplane made extensively with lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer material to the Incheon-Hong Kong route from May 9 to June 14 to attract customers ahead of and during the summer holiday season. But the schedule was changed due to a lack of preparation, it said.
It rescheduled the starting date of services to conduct additional test flights and double-check security equipment on the plane.
In 2008, Asiana signed a contract with Airbus to purchase a total of 30 A350-900 airliners with the delivery to be completed by 2025. Four of them will arrive this year.
Source: Yonhap News Agency