Korean Air is to become the first airline in the world to offer a flying duty free shop when its first of 10 Airbus A380s enters service on 10 June.

The shop will be unveiled at the show today on the AIM Aviation stand, but Flight Daily News was given an exclusive sneaky peek behind the curtains.

AIM sales director Chris Whetter (pictured below) is hoping for interest from other Asian carriers once the curtains are officially opened, but he is not expecting interest to be as strong from airlines outside Asia.

"The shop replaces 13 seats on the aircraft so you're losing a lot of revenue, but the Korean mentality is that they buy all the duty free on every flight," says Whetter. "It was Korean's concept to do it and they approached us as being one of the companies with very high quality and excellent design. There were two bidders and we won the programme."


Each of the five display units inside the shop weighs 120-130kg (265-287lb) and 30kg of duty free products can be placed inside each one. Up to 64 individual items can be displayed.

AIM DutyFree 1

In the event of turbulence, each of the bottles on display has a strong magnet on the bottom which can withstand a 2g loading.

"If there is severe turbulence the shop has to be emptied out," says Whetter, adding that on taxi, take-off and landing the alcohol has to be stowed.

Cosmetics firm Lancome has bought the first advertising spot inside the shop.

It will be open for business for the duration of each flight and staffed by full-time sales assistants. First class passengers will have the opportunity to browse the shop and make purchases before anyone else, followed by business class and then other passengers.

Korean's A380s will feature a 407-seat layout with 12 first class seats, 94 in Prestige business class and 301 in economy class.

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Source: Flight Daily News