Korean Air has taken delivery of the first of 10 747-8 Intercontinentals it has on order.
Korean Air, which received the 747-8I Aug. 25, becomes the first airline in the world to operate both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8.
The SkyTeam carrier operates seven 747-8Fs. The first 747-8F entered its fleet in 2012, while three more 747-8Is deliveries are scheduled for 2015.
Lufthansa and Air China are other 747-8I operators, as well as several private VIP operators. Turkish Airlines is reported to be evaluating an offer to lease two 747-8Is that were originally ordered for Russia’s Transaero Airlines.
With a range of 7,730 nautical miles (14,310 km), the 747-8I offers 16% savings in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30% less noise.
Korean Air's 747-8I is configured with six new first class Kosmo Suite seats as well as 48 business-class and 314 economy-class seats. The aircraft also features an all-new, 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that includes a new curved, upswept architecture for a greater feeling of space and comfort.
The carrier said it will start using the 747-8I from Sep. 2 on the Seoul Incheon-Frankfurt 3X weekl services, as well as 3X weekly Seoul-Singapore. From October, those services will increase to daily frequency. Beginning November, Hong Kong and San Francisco will be added to the 747-8I network.
Korean’s fleet also includes 10 Airbus A380s.