Korean Air Eyes Boeing 777X Order

Daniel Fowkes
25 Apr 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Korean Air is reportedly interested in purchasing the Boeing 777X to boost its widebody fleet.

Korean Air is reportedly in ongoing talks with American plane maker Boeing to purchase the upcoming widebody, the 777X.

According to two industry sources, Reuters reports that a purchase could consist of at least 10 Boeing 777X jets. These aircraft would thus operate alongside the existing fleet of Airbus and Boeing jets and notably come a few months after a commitment to the Airbus A350.

Korean Air operates a fleet of Boeing 777s, with 46 units listed as active, spread across several variants, from the 777-200 to the 777F.

These Boeing 777s average 12.4 years, with the remaining 777-300s coming in at 24.9 years. Additionally, the 777X is targeted as an aircraft to increase efficiency.

Interestingly, Reuters also reports that the third industry source has stated that while Korean Air is always in talks with manufacturers over a new order, it hasn’t got immediate plans to order the next-generation 777 variant.

Preparing For A Merger

Korean Air is also preparing for the hopeful conclusion of a multi-year process to merge Asiana Airlines into its mainline brand.

As part of this ongoing merger, which requires approval from the US, a thorough fleet review is currently being conducted. This fleet review will determine which aircraft are surplus and which must be ordered.

Korean Air’s purchase of the A350 was deemed necessary for the upcoming integration of Asiana Airlines, which flies this aircraft type. However, a switch back to Boeing and the 777X has turned heads somewhat.

Korean Air purchased up to 33 Airbus A350s as part of plans to prepare for an Asiana Airlines merger.

More Interest For The 777X

A prospective order for the 777X from Korean Air would mark another significant moment for the planemaker and the program.

At times, Boeing has struggled to obtain a firm interest in the 777X from customers, primarily because of an inability to certify the aircraft, concerns around the certification and more.

Last year, a commitment from Air India and a top-up order from Emirates were essential in securing the jet’s backlog. Adding Korean Air to the portfolio would further diversify the backlog and add another important customer.

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