Korean Air Commits To 30 787 Dreamliners In Huge Fleet Expansion

Korean Air is set to vastly expand its fleet, having placed a commitment for 30 Boeing 787 aircraft. The commitment will come as a welcome relief to Boeing who is said to be laying low at the Paris Air Show.

Korean Boeing 787 Order
Korean Air has ordered 30 Boeing 787s at the Paris Air Show. Photo: Boeing

While one would expect Boeing to have been pushing sales for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X at the Paris Air Show, this is not the case. In fact, the only passenger aircraft which the manufacturer brought to the show this year was the Boeing 787. The example on display this week is an Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787-9.

Is this order important?

Is simple terms, yes. Given the wave of press currently surrounding the American manufacturer, any order is a good order. It’s also a good thing for Korean Air. The carrier currently operates a fleet of 10 Boeing 787s according to AirFleets.Net.

The commitment for thirty new aircraft will quadruple the number of Boeing 787s being flown in Korean Air’s fleet. At current list prices, the order is worth $6.3 billion for 20 787s. This gives an average price per aircraft of $315 million.

According to Boeing, the new commitment will see Korean Air directly purchase 20 of the aircraft from Boeing. This will be broken down into 10 Boeing 787-9s to extend its existing 787 fleet. Additionally, Korean Air will purchase 10 Boeing 787-10s. Finally, the remaining 10 aircraft will be made up of another 10 Boeing 787-10s. However, rather than being purchased by Korean Air, they will be leased from aircraft leasing company ALC.

Korean Air Boeing 787 Order
10 of the aircraft will be leased from ALC. Photo: Boeing

Talking of the new order, Walter Cho, Chairman of Korean Air said in a press release,

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

Why is Boeing laying low?

Boeing is currently keeping a fairly low profile. The main reason for this stems primarily from the ongoing Boeing 737 MAX crisis. As the aircraft is currently grounded, it would not be possible for Boeing to bring the aircraft with them.

Additionally, Boeing had hoped to also bring the Boeing 777X along to Paris, however, as this is yet to take its first flight, the manufacturer couldn’t bring that either. Finally, we were expecting a 797 announcement at the Paris event, however, this hasn’t happened. Maybe we will hear about the Boeing 797 at the Dubai Air Show instead.

What do you think of Korean Air’s new Boeing 787 commitment? Is it for too many aircraft or not enough? Let us know in the comments!