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South Korea's Asiana Airlines is scheduling non-stop flights between Melbourne and Seoul for eight weeks across the 2019-2020 summer season, and says these are a prelude to a possible year-round service.
The Star Alliance member's Seoul-Melbourne flights will run just once each week, beginning Thursday December 26 as an overnight service OZ6037 from Seoul to Melbourne, with a daytime return leg on Friday as OZ6047. The last Melbourne-Seoul flight will be on Friday February 21.
The flights will take place on a Boeing 777-200ER with Asiana's 'Smartium' lie-flat business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout.
But Asiana's interest in the route may not end there.
"We expect that it will be good opportunity for Asiana Airlines to estimate the potentiality to boost our sales network in Australia market," Asiana Airlines' representative Chang Kim tells Executive Traveller.
"Our head office is going to decide whether to continue flying the MEL-ICN route next year through careful review on the performance of this flight."
Melbourne has been without a non-stop flight to Seoul since March 2013, when Korean Air axed its thrice-weekly service.
Earlier this year Asiana delisted its first class suites, rebranding them as Business Suites and moving to what's sometimes called a 'business plus' model with reduced pricing, although the fares are still above standard business class in recognition of the spacious and comfortable private suites.
That aside, Business Suites passengers will be served the same meals and drinks as business class, along with the same mileage earning rates in the Asiana Club frequent flyer program and with other Star Alliance partners.