Paris 2019: Korean Air adds to long-haul fleet

Korean Air is to quadruple its Boeing 787 fleet as it looks to add new long-haul markets.

Korean Air is to add 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its fleet, with a commitment to purchase ten 787-10s and ten additional 787-9s. It will also lease ten 787-10s from Air Lease Corporation.

The order, announced at the Paris Air Show 2019, will quadruple the Korea flag carrier’s fleet of 787s and be listed on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website once it is finalised.

"As we continue to innovate our product offering, the 787 Dreamliner family will become the backbone of our long-haul fleet for many years to come," said Walter Cho, chairman of Korean Air.

"In addition to 25 percent improved fuel efficiency, the stretched 787-10 offers around 15 percent more space for passengers and cargo than our 787-9s, which will be critical to our long-term business goals."

The 787-10 aircraft is 68 metres long and can accommodate 330 passengers in a two-class configuration, about 40 more than Korean Air's existing fleet of 787-9s.

The SkyTeam member currently operates a fleet of 168 passenger and cargo aircraft, according to CAPA Fleet Database, 119 of which are Boeing.

"Korean Air is a leading global airline and has become one of Asia's largest transpacific carriers," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing at Boeing.

“We are honoured that Korean Air has decided to quadruple its 787 Dreamliner fleet and we will work closely with them to finalise this landmark deal.”

Korean Air launched its latest new long-haul route in April 2019, offering a five weekly service between Seoul and Boston using 787-9s.

It is also understood to be increasing capacity on its Seoul - Zagreb service over the winter 2019/20 season by using 787-9 aircraft instead of A330-200 aircraft.

According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, the carrier’s long-haul capacity it set to grow by 2 percent in 2019 after being flat in 2018.