At Korean Air, the Airbus A220 aircraft and its Pratt & Whitney GTF engines are leading the recovery in air travel in South Korea, thanks to greater capacity and lower operating costs.
“Korean Air has been operating ten A220s and these aircraft are used on our domestic and short-haul routes. Thanks to its more fuel-efficient engines, Korean Air’s GTF-powered A220s have lower operating cost, which enables us to utilize the fleet effectively,” said Lee Soo Keun, chief operating officer at Korean Air. “It’s important to us that we continue to support efforts that repatriate and reconnect people to their loved ones, while also sustaining the economy with the continued flow of goods and essential supplies.”
Korean Air is using its A220 fleet to restore its regional and domestic passenger network and provide much-needed connectivity in South Korea, in turn providing a welcome boost to local economies. The airline offers Airbus A220 flights to and from several cities and airports in the country, including Seoul-Gimpo, Busan, Cheongju, Jeju and Ulsan.
Korean Air flies the larger Airbus A220-300 aircraft, each with 140 economy seats in a 2-3 seating configuration. The aircraft is also renowned for its passenger comfort, including lower noise thanks in large part to the Pratt & Whitney GTF engine.
The Airbus A220, powered exclusively by GTF engines, offers significantly lower operating costs compared to previous generation aircraft. The engines deliver double-digit improvements in fuel and carbon emissions. They also provide a 75% reduction in noise footprint, based on a 75 dB noise contour, and produce NOx emissions 50% below the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) CAEP/6 regulation.
This means that airlines can take advantage of the lower costs per trip and per passenger to add capacity by moving up from regional jets, to right-size capacity by moving down from larger single-aisle aircraft, and to open new, longer routes – all more profitably than before.
“Many airlines have continued flying the GTF-powered A220 throughout the downturn,” said Mary Ellen Jones, vice president of customer business for Asia Pacific at Pratt & Whitney. “For others, the A220 was one of the first aircraft that airlines put back into service, due to its superior flexibility and fuel efficiency. This is why the GTF-powered A220 has been one of the commercial aircraft with the highest utilization throughout the crisis and early recovery.”
Korean Air is also taking advantage of the A220’s health monitoring unit, supplied by Pratt & Whitney, which captures thousands of engine and aircraft data parameters throughout the full flight cycle. This system allows Korean Air and Pratt & Whitney to better monitor engine performance, minimize disruptions, schedule preventive maintenance and increase aircraft utilization.