Korean Air has confirmed that the A380 will play a significant role in its future
growth plans by signing a firm contract for the purchase of five aircraft, plus
three options. Korean Air will initially introduce the A380 on high density traffic
routes from Seoul to the US west coast, with subsequent destinations likely to
include cities on the US east coast and Europe. Deliveries to Korean Air are
scheduled to take place between late 2007 and 2009.
The contract was signed at a ceremony immediately prior to the opening of the
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines annual Assembly of Presidentsí meeting
on Jeju Island, South Korea today.
With Korean Airís confirmation, Airbus has 121 firm orders plus eight
commitments, making a total of 129, from 11 customers for the A380
"Our decision to purchase the A380 aircraft meets our strategy to reinforce
Incheon Intl 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. The A380 will
clearly be the flagship of the 21st century and Korean Air is proud to be one of
the first airlines to operate the aircraft in AsiaĒ.
Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, said ďAirbus aircraft have always proven to be extremely popular with Asian carriers and it
is particularly satisfying to see Korean Air, our first and oldest customer
outside Europe selecting the A380 for its future growth requirements. The
advanced technology A380 will provide Korean Air with lower operating costs,
greater range and outstanding new standards of comfort for its passengersĒ.
Airbusí relationship with Korean Air dates back to 1974, when the airline
became Airbusí first customer outside Europe. Today, the carrier remains one
of Airbusí largest customers in the region, having previously placed orders for
51 widebody types comprising 32 A300s and 19 A330s.