South Korean flagship carrier Korean Air said Wednesday it has clinched a deal with Boeing to acquire 30 Boeing 787 aircraft at the Paris Air Show in an effort to modernize its aircraft.
Korean Air has agreed to buy 20 new wide-body B787-10s and to lease 10 additional B787-9s, the company said in a statement. The deal approximately costs 11.5 trillion won ($9.7 billion), based on the price list.
This marks the first large-scale purchase deal made by the new chief Cho Won-tae, who took office in April after his father, Cho Yang-ho, passed away suddenly.
From left: Ihssane Mounir, vice president of commercial sales and marketing for Boeing, Kevin G. McAllister, CEO of Boeing, Cho Won-tae, Hanjin Group chairman, and John Plueger, Air Lease Corp. president, pose for a photo after signing a memorandum of understanding at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. (Korean Air)
The air carrier said the new B787-10 aircraft, which will be added from 2021 for the first time in Korea, will replace old planes among the A330, B777 and B747 that it owns.
Korean Air currently flies 168 aircraft to 126 cities in 44 countries.
The B787-10 is the largest and the newest model in the Dreamliner 787 family. Its body is five meters longer than the B787-9. It can seat up to 330 passengers and load 15 percent more cargo compared to the B787-9. Fuel efficiency has also been improved by 25 percent compared to old models, including the B777-200.
“Operation of the B787-10 and B787-9 aircraft will play a pivotal role for Korean Air’s long-haul flights,” Cho Won-tae said during the signing of the memorandum of understanding.
Korean Air said the additional B787-9 planes will be operated from next year.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org