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Welcome to Korea: KAL’s Boeing 747-400

November 21, 2019

Korean Air Luxury Liner #HL7495 was delivered in December 1995, amidst the airline’s efforts to reshape itself into an international airline. Its use of Boeing 747s over the years and its expansion of international flights took the Korean Air from its roots as a government owned airline through years of safety issues and even a Cold War target to its current status as Korean’s largest airline and contender amongst top airlines. HL7495 offered globe-crossing flights with world class in-flight meals and state-of-the-art entertainment features that made international flights an unparalleled experience. The remaining Korean Air 747-400s flew for the last time on November 19th, 2019. MotoArt observes this occasion and celebrates the airline with a Korean Air Boeing 747 PlaneTag

  Korean Air 747-400

John Taggart from Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

Korean Air Lines

  • Country: Republic of Korea
  • Airline Founded: 1962
  • Subsidiaries / Group Airlines: Jin Air 
  • Base / Main Hub: Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN / RKSI)
  • Bases: Seoul Gimpo International Airport (GMP / RKSS)
  • Fleet Size: 175 Aircraft (+ 6 On Order/Planned)
  • Average Fleet Age: 9.8 Years
  • Official Site: https://www.koreanair.com/
  • The airline operated 46 747-400s

 

Korean Air, initially a government enterprise, was privatized in March 1969. Within a few years, both cargo and passenger services to the U.S. were established. The first Boeing 747 joined the fleet in 1973, with the first 747-400 introduced in early 1995. In April 1994, the airline celebrated its 25th anniversary, reaching the milestone of 150 million passengers carried. 

 

The Boeing 747 is the commuter train of the global village. -Hendrik Tennekes

 

The airline itself went through many changes. Between its inception and 1999, its aircraft was involved in several serious incidents, with the loss of 700 lives. In two different decades, Korean Air airliners were shot down by Soviet fighters after drifting into Soviet airspace. In 1999, a fatal accident brought about an intense review of this and other incidents in the past, including attention to culture in the cockpit, leading to changes and an improvement in safety. This year, they celebrated their 50th anniversary as an airline and 20th year without a fatal accident. 

 

Luxury Airline Travel

 

Traveling aboard a Korean Air 747 international flight was a luxury experience. First class sleeper seats were completely separated in the front section of the plane, with a 2 by 2 seating and a bed reclining position of 180 degrees.  They featured all of the high-tech amenities including an individual wide-screen movie theater with a 10.5 in LCD screen. 

Business seating 747

Korean Air Club Class Seats flickr photo by Tips For Travellers shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license  

 

Prestige Plus business class seating on the second level boasted “a personal space where relaxation, business and elegance co-exist”, with a shell-type 170° flat sleeper seat, privacy partitions, one touch seat controls and LCD monitor for entertainment.

 

Business class meal Korean Air

Dinner on Korean Air in business class flickr photo by mroach shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

 

Economy seating was noted for its generous leg room. It was located behind First Class and featured a personal 8.4 in LCD screen with audio and video on demand, ergonomically designed seats that reclined 118 degrees. See the cabin layout .  

 

“Welcome To Korea” Livery

Welcome to Korea

  HL7495 flickr photo by airlines470 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

 

Between 2011 and 2013, HL7495 wore a colorful livery to welcome travelers to Korea. “Welcome to Korea” was drawn by school children and featured parts of Korea sights and traditions. It was spotted all over the world. It was part of a tourism effort to encourage travel to Korea

 

In May 2015, the Korean transport ministry (MLIT) urged all carriers to retire planes 20 years old or older for safety reasons. As of November 18, 2019, Korean Air flew its last 747-400. It is one of only a handful of passenger airlines operating the Boeing 747, also known as the Queen of the Skies. Although 747-400s will continue to fly, mainly as cargo carriers, their efficiency and cost effectiveness can’t compete with newer aircraft. 

 

“Arrive in Luxury. More than travel, it is an experience.”Korean Air brochure for 747-400 international flights

 

HL7495

 

Boeing 747 -4B5

  • Manufacturer: Boeing
  • Max Distance: 11349 km
  • Cruising Speed: 912 km/hr
  • Overall Length: 70.67 m
  • Wingspan: 64.92m
  • Plane Height: 19.51m

 

Timeline

  • December 1995 - Delivered to Korean Air from the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington
  • October 2018 - Transferred to Delta Material Services to use for spare parts
  • November 2019 - Acquired by MotoArt



MotoArt gets a Jumbo Jet

 

When MotoArt’s Dave Hall found out this particular Korean Air 747-400 was available he was thrilled. “This plane was photographed all over the world,” he explained. “So many people in many countries spotted it. It might not have been all over the news but people on message boards were tracking its movements and posting their pics of the Welcome To Korea livery.”

Like so many others, he is a fan of the 747 and was excited to preserve the memory of one appreciated by so many. “The 747 is the world’s favorite airplane and the idea that this particular one was followed by so many is awesome. I’m glad to keep sharing this plane with the world through PlaneTags.”

 

Korean Air 747 PlaneTags

  747 PlaneTags

 

PlaneTags are made by hand at MotoArt Studios in Torrance, California. They are cut from the airplane skin, polished and assembled by hand. Each is unique - no two will be exactly the same due to differences in color and texture, and each is numbered. The bright blue color of this particular one is sure to make this a popular PlaneTag. Add one for your collection before they’re gone and keep a small piece of luxury travel forever

 

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