Korean Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus to acquire up to eight Airbus A380-800 passenger aircraft. The MOU represents five firm orders and three options.
The 555-seater A380 is said to provide 15 to 20 per cent lower operating costs than the largest aircraft flying today and 10 to 15 per cent more range.
Deliveries to Korean Air are scheduled to begin in late 2007 through 2009.
‘Our decision to purchase the A380 aircraft meets our strategy to reinforce Incheon International Airport as the strongest hub in Northeast Asia,’ said Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air. ‘As one of the leading airlines in Asia, our long-term fleet plan plays a significant role in this strategy.’
Airbus’ relationship with Korean Air dates back to 1974, when the airline became Airbus’ first customer outside Europe. Today, the carrier remains one of Airbus’ largest customers in the region, having placed total firm orders for 51 widebody aircraft, comprising 32 A300s and 19 A330s.
Airbus plans to bring the A380 into service in 2006.