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Virgin Atlantic codeshare flights to Seoul now bookable

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A few weeks ago, we reported that Virgin Atlantic had agreed to launch flights from London to Seoul, as part of a deal with the UK Government to allow the merger between Asiana and Korean Air.

One of the stipulations in that agreement was that Virgin Atlantic and Korean Air start code-sharing on flights from London as soon as possible. You can read the full terms of the concession in this article, although I don’t recommend it unless you have a lot of time to kill.

This codeshare is now live, with planned expansions occurring over the coming months.

Virgin Atlantic Korean

(Yes, that is a Boeing 747-8 in the photo above, with the extended upper deck. Korean Air, Lufthansa and Air China are the only commercial airlines that bought the ‘next generation’ Boeing 747 variant.)

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said:

“We’re pleased to launch a codeshare with Korean Air, as we know such agreements bring an array of benefits to our customers.  As one of Asia’s major carriers, Virgin Atlantic customers can benefit from its extensive route network, that will offer more choice throughout Asia and Australasia. 

Our enrolment into SkyTeam, of which Korean Air is a founding member, enhances customers’ benefits further. Our Flying Club members can enjoy SkyPriority benefits at both London Heathrow and Seoul Incheon as well as earning and redeeming miles across Korean Air’s network.”

Where can you fly?

The codeshare agreement means that you can book a Korean Air flight from London to Seoul under a Virgin Atlantic flight number. The flight itself will be on a Korean Air aircraft with Korean Air cabin crew.

You can book from today, 25th March.

At the moment, Korean Air operates one daily flight from London to Seoul:

  • KE908 is a night flight and departs Heathrow at 7:35pm before arriving in Seoul at 4:15pm the following day
  • KE907 is a day flight and departs Seoul at 10:55am, arriving in London at 5:25pm the same day

From May, Virgin Atlantic will add its code to connecting Korean Air flights to:

  • Brisbane
  • Sydney
  • Auckland
  • Da Nang
  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City

Codeshares to seven more airports will follow in June, including flights to Japan:

  • Hong Kong
  • Fukuoka
  • Osaka Kansai
  • Tokyo Haneda and Narita
  • Nagoya
  • Okinawa

These codeshares open up a number of routes throughout East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

At some point over the next two years, Virgin Atlantic will also need to operate its own flights to Seoul under the terms of the Asiana / Korean Air merger approval. No launch date has yet been given for this service, but it will likely start next summer.

What is Korean Air like?

Korean Air operates a Boeing 777 on flights to London. In addition to featuring a First Class cabin, they also feature Korean’s latest business class seat called the Prestige Suite. Whilst nominally a 2-2-2 arrangement, all seats get direct aisle access via a little mini corridor to the window seats:

Virgin Atlantic codeshares to Seoul now bookable

Korean first introduced these in 2015 so they’re not the newest kid on the block, and the strange hospital colour scheme doesn’t make it particularly attractive. It is based on the ‘Apex’ business class seat from B/E Aerospace, now part of Collins.

All the seats are forward-facing, with a flat bed of between 75″ and 87″, or 187cm and 217cm, which must make it one of the longest business class beds available. It comes with a 17″ touch-screen monitor.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 60,000 Virgin Points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (8)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Rob H not Rob says:

    Can these be booked using Virgin pts / upgrade vouchers ? Any chart anywhere?

  • Ffwd says:

    Upper Class reward seats, I can only find 112,000 +£436 (or 122,000 peak) LHR via CDR or AMS or one way to Seoul.

  • Willmo says:

    Sometimes Korean Air swap in their older 2-3-2 business class layout on the London route.

    That’s what is happening all next week.

  • meta says:

    Cash flights are not showing either, so it seems not bookable just yet. Maybe later today.

  • Mr. AC says:

    Tried to book a Korean Air flight with Virgin points – no dice, errors out. Called the Virgin call centre – they say they see the same availability, but can’t book any Korean Air flight as well. No timeline for a fix, “may take weeks”.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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