DALLAS – Asiana Airlines’ (OZ) only Boeing 747-400 jet is returning to operation as the airline is upping its capacity on flights to China.
The airline sent a notice today saying the aircraft will operate flights from Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Changchun Longjia International Airport (CGQ), a city in northeast China.
Beginning October 27, OZ will add an extra weekly service, operated by an Airbus A330, while the original flight will be upgraded to the Boeing 747.
This news is part of a series of flight resumption to Mainland China, which has been largely shut off to international travel during the pandemic. The Seoul-based carrier announced it would start a once-weekly service to Shenzhen and Hangzhou.
Asiana’s Sole Boeing 747
The carrier’s only Boeing 747-400 was delivered in 1999 on a lease from GECAS. Then, in 2005, the airline purchased the aircraft, which seats 398 passengers in three classes.
At the start of the pandemic, OZ parked the aircraft in Seoul and then returned it to service in the second half of 2020. In May 2022, the aircraft was again put into storage, but it rejoined the fleet in July. Although the aircraft is in service, it is not often utilized and has only operated one flight in the past week.
Asiana is the only Asia-Pacific carrier currently operating the Boeing 747-400, as airlines such as Qantas (QF), Thai Airways (TG), and Air India (AI) retired the aircraft from their fleets during the pandemic.
Fewer than 20 passenger Boeing 747-400s are still in service, with German flag carrier Lufthansa (LH) currently operating eight aircraft.
Featured image: Asiana Airlines HL7418 Boeing 747-48E. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways