China Southern flies A380 between China and Korea, and it’s absolutely packed

China Southern is the only airline that has continued to fly its fleet of A380s throughout the pandemic. And many of its flights have been absolutely packed.

Today, China Southern’s A380 flew a new route from Guangzhou (CAN) to Seoul (ICN) and back. The flight was short, clocking in at just under three hours each way. We don’t have seat maps from the CAN to ICN route, but the return flight was nearly full

You can see the seat map below. 500 out of total of 506 seats were filled. The only seats that weren’t occupied are marked as blocked – indicated by the white “x”. First and business classes were entirely full – the only empty seats were in economy.

The A380 wasn’t particularly successful for China Southern. The airline took delivery of its fleet of five A380s between seven and nine years ago, and it didn’t order more, despite serving China, the second-largest airline passenger market in the world.

During COVID, however, China Southern’s A380s have been successful, operating flights with high load factors to destinations like Vancouver, Sydney, and Amsterdam, which have large populations of Chinese ex-pats. A lack of competition is one of the reasons China Southern’s A380s have been so full; there just aren’t that many flights into China right now.

The CAN to ICN route is not a regular flight for China Southern. Today was it’s only flight to ICN in August, and it only has one flight to ICN scheduled in September. China Southern is scheduled to resume three daily flights to ICN in late October.

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