Korean Air to purchase 33 Airbus A350 aircraft


Korean Air, one of the world’s top airlines, is set to sign a contract with Airbus for the procurement of 33 A350 family aircraft, valued at USD 13.7 billion. The deal includes 27 A350-1000s and six A350-900s.

The new order is part of Korean Air’s long-term fleet operations strategy as it gradually retires its older aircraft. The acquisition of the next-generation, eco-friendly A350 aligns with the airline’s sustainability efforts and is seen as a preparation for the integration of Asiana Airlines.

The A350-1000, the largest in the A350 family, can accommodate from 350 to 410 passengers in a standard three-class configuration. The aircraft uses advanced composite materials, which results in a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions of up to 25%, compared to similarly sized previous generation aircraft models. With the longest flight range among existing passenger aircraft, the A350-1000 can operate up to 16,000 km with full payload.

The A350-900 variant is about 7 meters shorter than the A350-1000, has a range of 15,370 km, and typically seats 300-350 passengers in a three-class layout. Korean Air plans to deploy the aircraft on its long-haul routes such as Seoul Incheon-New York, where the airline currently operates two daily flights.

In addition to the agreement to purchase 33 A350s, Korean Air plans to introduce 50 Airbus A321neos, 10 Boeing 787-9s, 20 Boeing 787-10s, and 30 Boeing 737-8s. The airline will continue to prioritize fleet modernization and reduction of carbon emissions through the operation of new aircraft and other sustainability activities.

Korean Air has been operating for more than 50 years, carrying more than 27 million passengers in 2019, pre-COVID. With its global hub at Incheon International Airport, the airline serves 111 cities in 40 countries on five continents with a modern fleet of 160 aircraft and over 20,000 employees.

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