Korean Air to Purchase 100 Aircraft from Airbus, Boeing
Korean Air has agreed to purchase 100 new aircraft from Airbus and Boeing over the next decade, according to Kim Rahn of the Korea Times.
Based on recently signed memorandums of understanding between the airline and the two manufacturers, Korean Air has agreed to purchase 30 new A321neo planes from Airbus and 30 new 737 MAX-8 aircraft from Boeing. The carrier also has the right to purchase 20 additional planes from each manufacturer, bringing the total to 100.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2019 and continue through 2025.
In total, the agreements will cost Korean Air roughly 13 trillion won ($12.2 billion).
"The huge purchase will help us gain a foothold for a second leap along with the 50th anniversary of our establishment in 2019," said a Korean Air official via the Times. "The next-generation aircraft will also be safer and more environment-friendly than older ones."
"They are important for sustainable growth and environmental protection efforts."
Both the A321neo and 737 MAX-8 feature advanced technology that makes them more efficient and environmentally friendly. By burning less fuel, the new planes will help Korean Air cut costs in the future.
Lower maintenance costs and fewer carbon emission are also key benefits.
The new design of the A321neo will also allow Korean Air to accommodate more passengers. "From 2018, an optimised use of cabin space, increased exit limits and a new cabin door configuration will enable new standard capacities for the A321neo (new engine option) of 206 in a two-class configuration and 240 passengers in high-density," states Airbus' website.
The massive purchase, which signals the largest one-time investment by a Korean carrier, appears to be the first step in the airline's long-term plans for future expansion.
"We'll introduce other new aircrafts for long-haul operations as well to create a young and high-tech fleet, becoming a global leader in the airline industry," added the Korean Air official via the Times.
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