Asiana Introduces Remodeled B747
By Kim Rahn
Asiana Airlines has introduced a B747 aircraft with an upgraded interior along with high-end, high-tech facilities.
This is part of the carrier's effort to provide high-quality service by either adopting the next generation aircraft or improving existing ones.
The recent outcome is the B747, which now has in-flight facilities that suit the ``five-star airline'' title.
With 10 billion won of budget, the remodeling project was conducted by Taiwan's Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation (EGAT), an aircraft maintenance company, for seven weeks from Oct. 9 through Nov. 24.
All seats are equipped with an audio and video on demand system. Monitors on each first and business class seat were also replaced with larger ones.
The number of seats was reduced from the previous 378 (12 in first class, 60 in business class and 306 in travel class) to 359 (10 in first class, 45 in business class and 304 in travel class), increasing the space between seats by three to 10 inches.
Asiana plans to invest more than 70 billion won to improve in-flight facilities of 16 passenger jets for international routes. The remodeling of six planes including five B777s and one B747 was completed in 2007, and the upgrading of the 10 others ― three B747s and seven B767s ― will be finished by January 2009. The number of seats on all the aircrafts will be reduced.
``Following the remodeling, we have a high quality in-flight environment that will satisfy business travelers' needs,'' an Asiana official said.
Asiana was awarded the ``five-star airline'' label by British transport research company Skytrax for two consecutive years since 2007. Only six carriers worldwide received the title, including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines, and Asiana.
The carrier is making efforts to distinguish itself with luxury in-flight services from emerging low cost carriers which plan to operate the routes to China and Japan, Asiana's stronghold.