Korean Air is exercising great care bringing its fleet and staff back to full strength as the worst of the pandemic passes.
Many of the airline’s passenger aircraft that were converted into freighters during the pandemic are being reconfigured and returned to passenger operations.
Korean Air took the seats out of many of its planes to enable them to carry light but large boxes of PPE to help with the pandemic.
Now the airline is reconfiguring some of the Boeing 777s to operate as passenger aircraft.
The airline is also carrying out destorage maintenance on approximately 20 grounded aircraft in long-term storage to prepare them for operations when needed.
During the pandemic, Korean Air conducted periodical and thorough inspections of its parked aircraft including the exterior, tires, landing gears, electronic equipment, and engines every seven, 14 and 30 days.
For stored aircraft to be deployed for flight operations, 400 hours of comprehensive inspection must be completed, which takes six technicians working for about seven days.
Korean Air is also restoring its inflight services to pre-COVID levels.
During the pandemic, the airline used disposable products and simplified inflight food and beverage services to prevent the spread of COVID. However, as COVID is now under control, the airline has been gradually restoring inflight food and beverage services as well as inflight items such as headphones and blankets.
Moreover, the airline has also increased inflight meal options. Seasonal Korean dishes will be offered in addition to the airline’s signature Korean dish, bibimbap.
New dishes such as spicy pork lettuce wraps and braised mackerel have been introduced.
A greater selection of snacks, desserts, alcohol and beverages are also being offered.
Korean Air has also been taking measures to help employees return to work after a long leave to smoothly adjust by setting up lounges, making necessary information such as policies and regulations readily available from mobile devices and conducting regular training sessions on safety and services.
In the flight operations division, pilots are supported to maintain their skills through special take-off and landing drills using simulators in addition to safety education and routine flight training. In addition, communication is encouraged through meetings, and to ensure the highest level of safety, highly experienced flight attendants are deployed on flights to airports with special requirements.
For flight attendants who were gone on leave for more than 3 months, Korean Air provides additional first, prestige and economy class service training to help prepare them for their actual flights.
Korean Air also provides a week of online and offline training sessions for employees returning after a long leave.