Korean Air, South Korea’s flagship carrier, signed MOUs totalling more than US$12 billion (current list prices) with Airbus and Boeing for the purchase of more than 100 new aircraft today at the Paris Air show.
According to the MOUs, Korean Air will purchase a total of 50 737 MAX-8 (30 firm, 20 options) and two 777-300ER (Extended Range) jetliners from Boeing. Korean Air also will add to its fleet 50 A321neo aircraft. (30 firm, 20 options).
The MOUs, valued at approximately US$12.2 billion (current list prices) and comprised of 102 aircraft, is by far the largest fleet order made in Korean Air’s and Korean aviation history.
The airline also signed a MOU with Pratt & Whitney to select PurePower PW1100G engines to power the A321neo aircraft.
Present at the ceremony were Yang Ho Cho, Chairman of Hanjin Group, Walter Cho, President and CEO of Hanjin KAL Holdings, Fabrice Brégier, CEO of Airbus, Ray Conner, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, among others.
The aircraft will be delivered gradually starting in 2019 until 2025. Korean Air plans to replace its old B737 fleet and to increase its capacity to address growing demand.
The B737 MAX-8 aircraft that Korean Air will be introducing incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, advanced technology winglets and other improvements to deliver high efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The new aircraft will deliver 20% lower fuel use than the first Next-Gen B737s.
The A321neo aircraft will also bring a step-change reduction in fuel consumption of over 15%, longer range capability and reduced maintenance costs, as well as significantly reduced carbon emissions.
The biggest-ever order in Korean Air’s history will be a stepping stone for the airline’s evolution, and enhance flight safety by replacing older mid-long haul aircraft with newer and more fuel-efficient ones.
Korean Air will also introduce new cutting-edge aircraft such as B747-8i and B787-9 over the next few years and put in its utmost effort to play a role as a leading global carrier.