Boeing said Tuesday that Korean Air signed a commitment to buy 10 787-10s and 10 787-9 model airplanes, worth $6.3 billion at current list prices. Korean Air will lease 10 more 787-10s from lessor Air Lease Corp, Boeing said in a news release.
In a separate Boeing deal, Air Lease committed to acquire five 787-9 Dreamliners, worth $1.5 billion at list prices.
"Demand for reliable, versatile, and fuel-efficient airplanes is at an all-time high," Air Lease Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Házy said.
Boeing said it will add the jets to its official order backlog once the airline and lessor pay deposits on the jets and finalize a contract.
Korean Air, the country's flagship airline which serves Seattle, is one of the largest transpacific carriers in Asia with 16 nonstop routes to North America.
"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," Korean Air Chairman Walter Cho said.
The 787-10 Dreamliner boasts 25 percent improved fuel efficiency and has about 15 percent space for passengers and cargo than the 787-9s.
"The airline has been a pioneer in Asia's commercial aviation industry over the past five decades and Boeing is honored to play an important role in their continued success," Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister said.
Korean Air operates 96 Boeing passenger airplanes, including Next-Generation 737, 747, 777 and 787 jets. Its cargo fleet includes 747 and 777 freighters.
If finalized, the order will quadruple the airline's 787 fleet to 40 airplanes as it modernizes and strengthen its long-haul aircraft fleet. Korean will introduce the 787-10 to complement its existing long-haul fleet of 787-9s and 777s.
(Andrew McIntosh - Puget Sound Business Journal)