Flight-Report

Review of Asiana Airlines flight Seoul Osaka in Business

Airline Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ 114
Class Business
Seat 2A
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 30 Dec 15, 14:10
Arrival at 30 Dec 15, 15:50
OZ   #21 out of 129 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 88 reviews
NGO85
By 2734
Published on 4th February 2016
Background:

This series covers my pilgrimage home to San Francisco for Christmas. For a detailed background, please refer to Part 1 of this series. As a reminder, the routing is:

Part 1 – NGO-ICN [OZ 121, Airbus A321, Business] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12681.html
Part 2 – ICN-LAX [OZ 202, Airbus A380-800, Business Smartium] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12897.html
Part 3 – LAX-SFO [AA 209, Boeing B737-800, First] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13024.html
Part 4 – SFO-PHX [AA 477, Airbus A321, First] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13075.html
Part 5 – PHX-LAX [AA 509, Airbus A319, First] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13091.html
Part 6 – LAX-ICN [OZ 203, Boeing B777-200ER, Business Smartium] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13102.html
Part 7 – ICN-KIX [OZ 114, Boeing B777-200ER, Business (First)] – You are here

This report will cover the short hop from Seoul-Incheon to Ōsaka-Kansai. This flight is operated using a 3-cabin B772 so the F cabin is sold as J. At the end of the report will be a bonus of the Conrad Seoul and some aviation relevant sightseeing in Seoul.




Pre-flight:

When I booked the ticket, I was able to claim the last window seat in F.

photo 1

I had breakfast at the hotel, checked out, and took the subway/train back to ICN. The Conrad Seoul is connected to the Yeouido subway station via the underground IFC mall so you don’t have to go outside in the winter. From there, it is just 3 stops to Gongdeok where you can switch to the AREX.

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Arriving at ICN, it's a decent walk from the AREX station to the check-in area.

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There is a dedicated aisle for premium passengers and there was no one else checking in, so I had 8 agents to choose from. They quickly checked my residence status, tagged my bag to KIX, and handed me my boarding pass. Quick and painless.

What’s not quick and painless at ICN is the security line. There are long lines and not enough space so everything is very congested and uncomfortable. It took me 30 minutes to clear security and immigration. The FIDS above the security line.

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Heading towards the OZ Lounge.

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From where I checked in, the F lounge was on the right and the J lounge was on the left.

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Upstairs, I’m waiting my turn to get checked in when some DYKWIA pushes his way through to enter before me. I’m eventually scanned in and turn right (I never looked to see what was to the left). The A380 model in the lobby.

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Some business cubicles along the way.

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The lounge. It has only a small buffet area along the back wall which was pretty heavily frequented by people so no photos. The lounge itself is pretty large feeling since it's an open space, but not a lot of private areas.

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There was a guy cooking some pajeon near the buffet. I grabbed a light snack and some liquid refreshments. Interesting that OZ has Cass and KE has Hite. Overall the food offering wasn’t great. A couple of hot options and the standard snacks/cup noodles.

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Documents.

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I then grabbed a salad and took a spot at the bar that overlooks the tarmac.

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And some more pajeon and another Cass.

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About 40 minutes before departure time, I pack up and head towards the gate. I strolled the shops, but nothing interested me. Not much to spot from where I was, only this OZ B763 at the adjacent gate.

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Our plane is leaving from Gate 31. I have no idea why there is a NH sign there.

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The seating areas near the gates look nice with the large windows and hardwood floors.

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The OZ B772 that will take me to KIX today.

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——————————-

Asiana Airlines, OZ 114
Equipment: Boeing B777-200ER [HL7775, delivered November 2008]
Departure: 14:10 (ATD: 14:34)
Arrival: 15:50 (ATA: 15:48)
Flight time: 1:14


Boarding starts 5 minutes late. While I’m queuing in the J line, an OZ agent comes up to me. She sees the water bottle in my hand (I took it from the lounge and had another one in my backpack) and tells me I can’t bring that onboard and tells me to throw it away. What? I don’t understand why (it’s not like searches they do for liquids on US-bound flights since they weren’t checking carry-on bags). I just chugged the water and then recycled the bottle before boarding. Down the jetbridge we go.

photo 20

The purser and a couple of FAs were there to welcome me on board. I grab a newspaper off the trolley at the end of the jetbridge and head to my seat. Here is my first look at the antiquated F cabin on the B772s. There was an FA in the back near the J cabin (I blurred her face in the photo); she saw me about to take the picture, and quickly straightened her jacket and smiled for the photo. So I think it really does just depend on the crew on how they react to photography.

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There are two rows of 1-2-1 in the F cabin. Here is my seat for this flight.

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Yes, the legroom is just fine in F.

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There is a slight stagger to the seats so I can actually see what the person in front of me is watching. This old F cabin is clearly not close to what OZ has on their A380s. From what I read, the F cabin is getting axed from planes since they are trying to make it more “premium.” This plane is just a relic of yesteryears.

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The cabin has that yellowish tinge, but I’m not complaining since it is better than the angled seats in the J cabin on this plane.

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I get 3.5 windows to myself and there is about 12 inches of storage space next to my seat.

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The reading light.

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IFE control is below the armrest.

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The seat controls.

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The tray table folds out from inside here.

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The ottoman, which had the slippers and headphones pre-placed on it.

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The “literature” is located in this slot along with the power adaptor.

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Right next to the seat is a storage compartment that also houses the USB and audio jacks.

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The massive “literature” offering.

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The OZ fleet.

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OZ has a very extensive route network into Japan (although this map is misleading since this also includes charter/seasonal destinations).

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The safety card for this B772.



Welcome screen on the IFE. The IFE looks like the same size and resolution as what I just had on the previous flight. The IFE looks small, but that may also be because it is sitting over 180cm from me.

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A FA comes out and offers me PDBs from a tray. No champagne, so I grab orange juice and water.

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She then returns providing my landing documents for Japan along with a pen.

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She then fans out some magazines and asks me if there was anything that I wanted to read while we waited for boarding to finish. I feel bad declining, so I grab Time, which actually had an interesting article about food in it.

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We have 4 FAs for this F cabin and the service was extremely attentive. As soon as my PDB is empty, she returns offering another PDB.

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Out the window, the OZ B763 left and it was replaced by an OZ A321. The non-frosted windows above the A321 are where the OZ Business Lounge is located.

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As we push back, I get a nice view of the KE B77W in “Children’s Drawing Contest” special livery.

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The safety videos plays while we fire up our engines and begin our roll out.

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7C B738 in “Lee Min Ho” special livery.

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Air Cobra (AZ) A332 in “EXPO Milano 2015” special livery.

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KE B77W.

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CA A319 (I cut the nose off this little guy).

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KE B748.

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KE A380.

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Assorted heavies at the remote stands.

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The OZ hangars as we turn onto the runway.

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KE B747F.

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As we go barreling down the runway and lift up, we get great aerial shots of the OZ and KE Cargo operations.

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Goodbye ICN.

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A picture of the cabin as we do our climb.

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As soon as the FAs are signaled by the captain, they spring to action on this short 70-minute flight. I find it very interesting that they even closed the curtain between the F and J cabins (both cabins are sold as J), which made the service even more intimate since we had F style service. Catering was still very much J. The cabin manager came out, introduced herself addressing me by name, and handed me the menu for this flight. A couple minutes later, another FA came around and took my order while kneeling. I went for the beef bulgogi. I should mention, that there is champagne available on routes to KIX (NGO did not have champagne on the menu).



Our meandering route out of ICN before we lock onto the predicted linear routing.

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It’s cloudy the whole way over Korea and the Sea of Japan.

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Service starts with an oshibori.

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The linens are laid.

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As I had mentioned before, the IFE interface is the same as what I had seen on the other B772s. I watch some TV shows while I eat on this flight. Also, the same headphones appeared on all of the OZ flights.

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My single tray service was placed down in front of me.

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The salad is very boring, no protein in sight. The salad on the NGO-ICN flight was better.

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The beef main doesn’t look visually great, but the meat was not stringy and there was a good amount of vegetables (bok choy and mushrooms) to accompany it, which was nice.

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The condiments that come with the tray.

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Bread is offered. This one that I picked out was really good.

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The dessert was decent. I like blueberries so it was a hit for me. For all the averageness of OZ’s catering, they serve real desserts, which is a welcome departure from the standard ice cream offering.

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Coffee and tea service was done by trolley. I wrapped up the meal with a Bailey’s. The FA even brought me a packet of mixed nuts to snack on while I watched TV.

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Meal service concluded when we hit the Japanese coast and began our descent into KIX. This is a really short flight when heading east-bound so there is barely enough time for a meal service.

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I went to use the lavatory. It was clean and fully stocked.



I lounged for the remainder of the flight until the cabin was prepared for arrival.

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Flying over Hyogo.

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Flying past Nishijima (西島), Bozejima (坊勢島), Ieshima (家島), and Tangajima (男鹿島).

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Our route today.

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KIX is visible in the distance as we approach Shikoku (四国).

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Flying past Minamiawaji (南あわじ).



We then make our banking turn to align into KIX. The Ōnaruto Bridge (大鳴門橋) is visible.

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The run down the eastern shore of Awajishima (淡路島).

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We touch down at KIX a couple minutes ahead of schedule.

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Turning off the runway.

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Thank you message on the IFE.

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We pull into a gate next to this NH B763.

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The FAs thank my for flying as we deplane into the jetbridge.

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As always, KIX makes you use the train to get from the gates to the arrivals/departures lobbies.

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Down the stairs to immigration: Welcome to Kansai.

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There is no one in the immigration lines so I am through instantly. Bags come off after 10 minutes. I grab my bag and take the train back to Nagoya. Thanks for reading this report and that concludes this series!



—————————–
BONUS:

I had gotten a really good rate on the Conrad Seoul, it was $120/night including the buffet breakfast. It’s not in the most convenient part of town, but it is close to the Yeouido Station, which is a junction for Lines 5 and 9. The standard room was big enough for me and a nice bathroom.



The views from the room along the Han River were worth it. Very nice during the day and at night.



I’ll keep the tourist part pretty light and just show something that is aviation relevant. I had gone to the War Memorial of Korea. It was nice museum with plenty of sculptures and monuments. The real treat is the collection of aircraft from the war.

See more

Verdict

Asiana Airlines

8.3/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering7.5

Asiana Airlines Business Lounge

7.5/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services8.0

Seoul - ICN

8.5/10
Efficiency6.0
Access8.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Osaka - KIX

8.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

This is a pretty short flight, but the level of service on OZ remains excellent. It was nice to get to try their older F cabin that is going to be decommissioned soon. The catering again was slightly above average. Overall, OZ offers a good product, but not really as lavish as you might expect.

Cabin comfort: Another old B772. Luckily it was a 3-cabin configured B772 so I got to try the F cabin instead of the old J cabin with angle lie-flat seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. So for a 70-minute flight this cabin was more than adequate and was infinitely better than the A321 I would have gotten into NGO. I was very happy to change my flights in order to get this experience.

Crew: Fantastic (as has been the theme on OZ). They are really attentive and just seem very polished. Getting 4 FAs for our small cabin ensured the service was superb for J standards.

Meal and catering: For a 70-minute flight (about the same as TPE-HKG), it has to be a tray service. The single tray looks cluttered, but I just don’t think there is a way around it. That said; the salad was very boring. The main didn’t look great visually, but the beef was a good, simple dish. The dessert was pretty good. Slightly above average.

Entertainment: Newspaper offered, magazine offered, and the standard seatback literature. The older IFE is not very crisp and the screen doesn’t seem large enough (due to the distance from the screen to the seat). Content was the same on all the flights, not great.

On-time performance: We left a little late due to slow boarding, but arrived on time. No complaints.

Information on the route Seoul (ICN) Osaka (KIX)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Seoul (ICN) → Osaka (KIX).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Asiana Airlines with 7.9/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 42 minutes.

  More information

10 Comments

  • Comment 156745 by
    whitelight44 347 Comments

    Great FR and great pics thanks for sharing :)

  • Comment 156754 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 8784 Comments

    Thanks Michael !

    Well, this flight is definitely better in J/P than in Y ! ^^
    My 2014 experience on the same route was disappointed, I even found CA to be more generous with the food. Lol

    You didn't have the possibility to check-in in town (at the main station or CALT) and avoid the long security wait at ICN ?

    Not bad to have the possibility to book a seat in the F cabin. Do you know if this is reserved to OZ FFP members ?

    Good regional meal service. How was the chili paste ?
    The FA even brought me a packet of mixed nuts to snack on while I watched TV. -> Not in the mood to start a new nutgate ? :P

    After all those OZ Flight, what do you think about its 5* rating ?

    • Comment 334020 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      Merci Clement^^

      Well, this flight is definitely better in J/P than in Y ! ^^
      - Is this not true for every flight?^^

      My 2014 experience on the same route was disappointed
      - I have now properly educated myself on your OZ114 experience ;)

      You didn't have the possibility to check-in in town (at the main station or CALT) and avoid the long security wait at ICN ?
      - I didn't read your report before hand, otherwise I would have gone to Seoul Station for the Express Train. This was not available at Gongdeok Station. Next time, I will know the secret of SCAT^^

      Do you know if this is reserved to OZ FFP members ?
      - I do not know. The cabin was full in F and 20% full in J. I booked the ticket with OZ directly and had the seat assigned as 2A when I called the OZ First/Business Service Center in Tokyo to change the flight from ICN-NGO to ICN-KIX. I was going to collect the miles with EY FFP, but changed to OZ FFP before I tried the online seat selection so I cannot comment on this effect.

      Not in the mood to start a new nutgate ? :P
      - Maybe if I had the Cameragate incident from Part 1 on this flight, I might have been pushed to start a nutgate incident over receiving packaged peanuts in F^^

      After all those OZ Flight, what do you think about its 5* rating ?
      - I think SKYTRAX is meaningless. Are there 4* carriers better than OZ? Yes. Is OZ better than some 4* carriers? Yes. Was I satisfied with OZ: Yes. I would fly them again, but I would pick my aircraft very carefully since there are a lot of inconsistencies in their hard product. Catering is above average. But what is most important was the excellent crews on all the flights. I'll be excited to see that they put on their new A350s that are starting to be delivered this year^^ Fortunately for me, LAX-ICN will always have the A380 option^^

    • Comment 334075 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      Merci pour vos commentaires^^

      OZ has had some difficult times recently (not as bad as MH) and has a much smaller market share in ICN than KE. I think their decision was the correct one to axe F from the B772s. Especially since they are taking a bunch of A350s to replace their aging long-haul fleet. OZ is also one of those few carriers without a Y+ product, but I think the difference between their Business and Travel classes is large enough.

      It was nice to try their F product on this short hop. It was also nice that they still staff the planes as if it were a F cabin since they had a cabin manager and 3 FAs assigned to the 8-seat cabin and even closed the curtains from the normal J-cabin.

  • Comment 156786 by
    indianocean SILVER 6235 Comments

    What a fine way to travel on a short range flight
    How lucky you are since the airline decided to let First Class cabin and service on A380s only.

    Thank you Michael.

  • Comment 156900 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us! You're killing it with the reports lately.

    It must've been a really nice experience flying in F on a flight of this length. The cabin comfort in this cabin is of course light years ahead of a J cabin in an A321.

    The meal doesn't look bad for a flight of this length.

    Absolutely fantastic shots upon arrival at KIX, the weather seemed to be good that day.

    Overall a much better experience than to be in an A321.

    Thanks for the great bonus!

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 334362 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      You're killing it with the reports lately.
      -But dying on the comments, haha. Finally getting caught up. Thanks for stopping by as always!

      It must've been a really nice experience flying in F on a flight of this length.
      - It was definitely worth changing my ticket. Even though getting home form KIX sucks (~2 hours), it is much better to be on a wide-body than an A321.

      The meal doesn't look bad for a flight of this length.
      - Standard meal tray. Compared to what Numero_2 showed for the Y offering on this same flight (in French), I would say it is very good service.

      Absolutely fantastic shots upon arrival at KIX, the weather seemed to be good that day.
      - Winter in Japan is often blue skies. The next series will be an exception to the rule since it was heavy snowfall and rain.

      Only stayed 1.5 days in Seoul this time, but I'm sure I'll be back to see more. Hopefully next time it will be warmer.

  • Comment 156969 by
    Chibcha 425 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this trip, it was really fun to read. The pictures were great!

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