Following fellow South Korean airline Korean Air’s decision to remove its First Class product on select flights, Asiana Airlines is taking it a step further by eliminating its First Class starting August 31.
The Star Alliance carrier will be phasing the highest level of passenger class by rebranding it as Business Suites, and the airline issued a notice in Korean identifying the Los Angeles, New York-JFK, and Frankfurt that will see the shift in September/October. These routes usually see the airline’s Airbus A380s deployed for those flights.
Screenshot from Asiana Airlines' Website (Korean)
Asiana Business Class Suite Configuration - Asiana Website
Asiana will still have the suites, but instead will sell it at business class fare rate. Along with the business class fare, travelers will get the business class level benefits such as mileage accrual, checked baggage, and will still have access to Asiana’s First Class lounge at Incheon Airport.
According to Asiana, the Business Suites will be offered at fares 30 to 40% lower than the fares it offers on First Class.
The move to phase out First Class follows Asiana’s recent troubles that have made headlines which includes the Kumho Asiana Group putting its majority stake of the airline up for sale. Within the last few months, the airline has announced it would reduce its fleet and cut unviable routes.