Before establishing Asiana Airlines in 1988, national flag carrier Korean Air had a monopoly on the South Korean airline industry. Today that has all changed for now, at least with Asiana Airlines accounting for 25% of South Korea’s international aviation and 20% of its domestic market.
Asiana Airlines began life flying Boeing 737 aircraft between the South Korean capital Seoul and the cities of Busan and Gwangju in 1988. A year later, Asiana Airlines added Jeju City, Gwangju, and Daegu to its list of domestic destinations.
Asiana Airlines started flying to Japan in the 1990s
Not content with solely flying domestically in 1990, the Seoul-headquartered airline turned its focus on Japan with scheduled flights to the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Sendai, and Fukuoka. When deciding to expand operations to international flights, Asiana Air had a fleet of all-Boeing aircraft comprising the following planes:
- 9 x Boeing 747-400s
- 10 x Boeing 767-300s
- 8 x Boeing 737-400s
Now fast-forward to 2021, the Korean carrier has two hubs at Gimpo International Airport (GMP) and Incheon International Airport (ICN), serving destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, and Europe. Asiana Airlines joined the Star Alliance in 2003 and today flys to 90 international destinations and well as 14 domestic routes. Asiana Airlines is the sole owner of Air Seoul and also the majority shareholder in low-cost-carrier Air Busan. Asiana Airlines has a workforce of around 10,000 people, most of whom are based in Seoul.
Having now established itself as a global airline, let’s see what Asiana Airlines current fleet looks like in 2021. Using data supplies by the aviation statistics and data website ch-aviation, we can see that Asiana Airlines fleet of 81 planes is made up of the following aircraft:
- 2 x Airbus A320-200s
- 14 x Airbus A321-200s
- 4 x Airbus A321-200neos
- 15 x Airbus A330-300s
- 13 x Airbus A350-900s
- 6 x Airbus A380-800s
- 1 x Boeing 747-400
- 7 x Boeing 747-400(BDSF)
- 4 x Boeing 747-400(FSCD)
- 5 x Boeing 767-300s
- 1 x Boeing 767F
- 9 x Boeing 777-200s
Also, looking at the data provided by ch-aviation, we can see that Asiana Airlines has big plans for the future with the following planes on order from Airbus:
- 21 x Airbus A321-200neos
- 9 x Airbus A350-1000s
- 8 x Airbus A350-900s
Korean Air is buying a controlling stake in Asiana Airlines
Sadly for Asiana Airlines fans, things will be changing following the merger of the heavily indebted airline with Korean Air. Once the deal is finalized, Korean Air will have spent $1.6 billion to acquire a 63.9% stake in Asiana Airlines. Initially, the two airlines will continue to be run independently until merging to become the world’s 10th largest airline in 2024.
When speaking about the merger earlier this year in a Korean Air statement, Korean Air President Woo Keehong said:
“To integrate Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, dozens of projects must be carried out simultaneously such as safe operation preparations; integration of IT systems, organizational and accounting systems, frequent flyer mileage programs; and resolving global alliance issues. Therefore, we expect it to take approximately two years to complete the integration after Asiana is incorporated into a subsidiary of Korean Air.”
Have you ever flown on Asiana Airlines? If so, please tell us what your thought about them in the comments.