In the battle for the flashest and most innovative Airbus A380 implementation Korean Air has raised the stakes with its plans for an in-flight duty free shop on all 10 of its A380 Aircraft the first
of which will go into operation on 10 June 2011 on the Seoul to Japan route.
The below YouTube video shows an interview with AIM Avation Sales/Project Director Chris Whetter
The Korean Air A380 in-flight duty free shop will feature 5 display units, the first being a video display which simply shows product advertising that companies can purchase advertising on, the other display units include a liquor display unit, cosmetics display unit and a display unit for high value items such as jewelry and watches.
Chris Whetter Sales/Project director at AIM says that Korean Air’s A380 in-flight duty free shop will be located on the main deck at the rear of the aircraft, in fact the shops liquor and cosmetics display units will be located either side of the rear stairs that lead to the upper deck and the aircraft’s Lounge/Bar area.
Mr Whetter explains that during a flight first class passengers will first be invited to browse the duty free shop, followed by Business Class passengers, and finally if there is adequate time remaining economy class passengers would be invited.
“The shop replaces 13 seats on the aircraft so you’re losing a lot of revenue, but the Korean mentality is that they buy all the duty free on every flight,” says Whetter. “It was Korean’s concept to do it and they approached us as being one of the companies with very high quality and excellent design. There were two bidders and we won the programme.”
“If there is severe turbulence the shop has to be emptied out,” says Whetter, adding that “on taxi, take-off and landing the alcohol has to be stowed”
Korean Air believes that selling high priced upmarket duty free items will more than offset the revenue lost from the 13 seats that the in-flight duty free shop will take up. In addition to this the weight of the display unit and duty free goods will be less than the combined weight of the seating luggage and passengers that the 13 seats would occupy, the end result less fuel burn. So if all goes to plan it looks like it will be a win/win for both passengers and the airline.
The first of Korean Air’s 10 A380 aircraft goes into operation on 10 June 2011 between Seoul and Tokyo, followed by Bangkok, Hong Kong and North American routes.