Korean Air is considering a “large order” for widebody aircraft as part of a fleet expansion and to replace aging jets with fuel-efficient planes amid rising oil prices.
“We are pleased with our current fleet of Airbus and Boeing, but they are starting to show their age. We have to do replacement.” said Walter Cho, Chief Executive Officer, in a media briefing at an aviation conference in Jeju, South Korea. “We have a lot of need for widebodies. We don’t have anything I can share right now, but we’re in the process. The 777X is coming up, and it will be a good replacement for our current 777, and we’re also keeping an open mind toward the A350 as well.”
Cho didn’t give a timeline for widebody orders or elaborate on how many aircraft Korean Air will buy.
Despite the ambiguity about a 777X option, Cho remains keen on adding to Korean’s in-service fleet of eight 787-9s.
“We’re looking at all options right now. We don’t have a plan yet. But since we already have a 787 fleet, there is a very high possibility we’ll expand our fleet on the 787,” Cho said. Korean Air has a firm order for two additional 787s.
At the moment, Korean Air has 103 widebodies. The average age of the airline’s long-haul fleet is 9.7 years. Four of these planes are old 747-400s with an average age of 21.5 years.
Featured image by Catarina Madureira/Aeronautics Online