Korean Air readies new 787-10 business class suites

The SkyTeam member will debut new suites on its Boeing 787-10 fleet, with a 777 upgrade to follow...

By David Flynn, March 15 2024
Korean Air readies new 787-10 business class suites
Executive Traveller exclusive

Korean Air is counting down to the reveal of all-new business class suites timed for the debut of its first Boeing 787-10.

Executive Traveller understands the launch of these private doored suites, said to be bristling with high-tech features, could take place within weeks.

The delivery of the Korean flag-carrier's first of a total order of 20 787-10 aircraft is now set for the second quarter of this year, having been pushed back from a “late 2023” timeframe.

However, Executive Traveller can confirm the 787-10s will not be fitted with the airline’s new premium economy seats – Korean Air is instead opting for a conventional two-class configuration, with new economy recliners behind the curtain.

Korean Air’s doored Dreamliner suites will bring it in line with the latest in private business class from regional rivals Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and, from what we hear, Singapore Airlines.

While the official reveal of the Korean Air 787-10 suites remains TBA, a regulatory filing made with the US Department of Transportation last year described a “new business class suite seat design” for the Boeing 787-10s, with the same suites later being added to the long-range Boeing 777-300ER fleet.

And they’ll even be the same physical size, rather than being a wider version to make the most of the 777’s wider cabin, so passengers and crew will instead see the refurbished 777s sporting wider aisles.

The airline’s DoT submission redacted details such as the suite’s manufacturer and the specific model, as well as the layout, for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Korean Air’s current flagship business class is based on the Apex suite, but expectations are that the new 777 and 787-10 business class suites will follow a more conventional 1-2-1 layout with sliding privacy doors.

Korean Air's current Boeing 787 business class.
Korean Air's current Boeing 787 business class.

The new business class has been in the works for some time, but like that of many other carriers – including Turkish Airlines’ own 777 suites – the program was stalled in early 2020.

“Currently, we are testing designs (and) talking to suppliers,” Korean Air Chairman and CEO Walter Cho told Executive Traveller on the sidelines of the World Air Transport Summit in Seoul in mid-2019.

Cho also indicated the airline’s new business class seat would also replace the current first class and business class seating mix on selected aircraft, moving instead to a single, larger and much better business class cabin – also a move being adopted by several airlines, among them American Airlines and Qatar Airways.

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