Korean Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus to acquire up to 50 A321neo aircraft, becoming a new customer for the best-selling single aisle A320 Family. The agreement, covering 30 aircraft plus 20 options, was announced today at the Paris Air Show by Korean Air Group Chairman Cho Yang Ho and Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier. Korean Air will operate the A321neo with a two class full service layout on regional services, including on longer sectors to selected destinations in South East Asia. The aircraft will be fitted with premium amenities, including wider seats in both classes and the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems.
“After an extensive technical evaluation we are pleased to announce that Korean Air will introduce Airbus single aisle aircraft for the first time,” said Cho Yang Ho, Chairman of Korean Air Group. “The A321neo will bring new levels of efficiency, longer flying range and greater in-flight comfort to our single aisle fleet, as well as reduced impact on the environment. Today’s decision is part of our ongoing commitment at Korean Air to offer true excellence in flight wherever we fly.”
“This agreement marks another milestone in the long-standing relationship between Korean Air and Airbus,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. “It’s also a very significant endorsement of the advantages offered by the A321neo at the top end of the single aisle market. We look forward to seeing the A321neo take to the skies in the colours of Korean Air, flying alongside the airline’s existing Airbus widebody fleet.”
Korean Air is Airbus’ longest-standing customer from outside Europe and placed its first order with the manufacturer in 1974. Since that time Airbus widebody aircraft have formed a major part of the Korean Air fleet. Today, the double deck A380 is the flagship of the airline’s long haul fleet, while mid-size A330 is operated by the airline on services across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as on selected routes to Europe.
The A321 is the largest member of the best-selling single aisle A320 Family. To date, the A320 Family has won more than 11,700 orders and over 6,500 aircraft delivered to more than 300 operators worldwide. Incorporating new engines and the latest technologies, the A320neo Family will bring a step-change reduction in fuel consumption of over 15 per cent, longer range capability and reduced maintenance costs, as well significantly reduced carbon emissions.
Since its launch in 2010 the A320neo Family has won almost 60 per cent of all new orders for single aisle aircraft with over 100 seats and has been selected by over 70 airlines worldwide.