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Korean Air Eyeing Airbus Widebody Order

The airline's latest order may come as early as this week, according to reports.

An Airbus A350-1000 in Airbus’ paint scheme. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Korean Air, South Korea’s flag carrier, is in the works to order 20 Airbus A350 jets from Airbus. An official announcement might come as early as this week, according to Bloomberg.

The Order

The order of 20 Airbus A350 aircraft comes as the carrier takes part in a fleet modernization plan. With the Korean Air merger with Asiana awaiting the U.S.’s approval, Korean Air is aiming to expand and restructure its growing fleet. According to Korean Air CEO Walter Cho, the airline will “simplify” its fleet after the merger for efficient cost of operations.

The merger will allow the airline to operate aircraft from Airbus and Boeing with a variety of engine types. As this might bring operational challenges to the carrier, Cho stated that the airline will “simplify” its fleet after the merger in an interview with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Future Fleet

This marks a major change for the airline since its last widebody purchase in 2019. Korean Air will be replacing its Boeing 777 aircraft of which most are over 17 years of age and some being more than 20 years old. With Korean Air’s 10th Airbus A321neo added to its fleet back on March 12, the airline ordered 20 more A321neo aircraft. As of today, Korean Air is expected to have 50 Airbus A321neos delivered.

Why the Airbus?

The airline took note of the Boeing 777X for the new fleet. According to Cho, however, as the Boeing 777X is awaiting certification, which is planned for 2025, Korean Air will put orders of Boeing aircraft on a halt.

Jeremy Kang
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  • Jeremy Kang

    Jeremy is an aspiring pilot currently undergoing training, backed by nearly five years of proficient writing experience. Having lived in three countries and attending an aeronautical university, Jeremy boasts extensive exposure to the field of aviation. His journalistic proficiency and fascination for flying equips him to make meaningful contributions to the aviation community.

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