Korean Air has signed an order for up to 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal worth approximately $2.6 billion at list prices. The agreement involves 10 firm orders and options for 10 additional 787s. Delivery of the 787-8 airplanes will begin in 2009 and extend through 2011.
Korean Air plans to use the new 787s on mid-range destinations to the U.S. and Europe.
“This airplane deal signifies our commitment to our vision of becoming one of the world’s top ten airlines by 2010,” said Korean Air Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yang Ho Cho. “It exemplifies our long-range planning to ensure Korean Air’s capabilities to meet future competition and market demand while also being more cost efficient.”
The B787 aircraft is made of composite materials instead of the aluminum normally used to manufacture aircraft, reducing the plane’s total weight significantly. The B787 has two engines and is capable of flying more than 15,700 km - strong enough to be used on Korean Air’s transpacific routes.
During the next ten years, Korean Air will invest a total of $USD10 billion in new aircraft, inflight service upgrades, IT enhancements, and other innovative projects. The B787s are part of Korean Air’s long-term plan to renew its aircraft as the airline maintains one of the industry’s youngest fleets.
The B787 Dreamliner will be configured to accommodate between 217 and 257 passengers for point-to-point service on Korean Air’s worldwide network.