June. 18. 2022
Korean Air expands private business jet service
|Korean Air 787-9 Dreamliner / Courtesy of Korean Air|
By Kim Hyun-bin
Korean Air is expanding its private jet business by introducing an additional B787-8 Dreamliner. Korean Air launched the B787-8 (HL8508) business jet on June 10, increasing the number of private business jets to four. The 787-8 is manufactured by Boeing of the United States.
Unlike regular aircraft, the Dreamliner is modified for luxury purposes with significantly reduced seating and convenient facilities such as a private lounge, bar and bedroom. The aircraft was manufactured in February 2015 and has 39 seats.
The plane departs from Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center (SGBAC), a business-only terminal. Users can go through immigration procedures in 5 minutes and can use the VIP lounge, crew lounge and meeting rooms.
In particular, the 787-8 is a large aircraft capable of direct travel from Korea to all parts of the United States. Luxury jets are chartered to VVIPs, including CEOs and celebrities. Korean Air is expanding its private jet business targeting the government and major domestic and foreign companies.
There was speculation that Samsung, which does not operate a private plane, would lease the B787-8 aircraft, unlike Hyundai Motor Company, SK, and Hanwha, which have their own private jets.
“We introduced the aircraft, but the use of the aircraft is undecided,” a Korean Air spokesperson said.
Korean Air’s introduction of the aircraft comes against the backdrop of a positive outlook in the aviation market. The industry estimates that the business jet market will grow at an average annual rate of over 5% and reach 40 trillion won by 2025.
However, the Korean business jet market is still relatively underdeveloped. Private aircraft use at SGBAC totaled around 2,000 flights in 2019 before the pandemic.