Korean Air will sign a contract with Airbus for the procurement of 33 state-of-the-art A350 family aircraft. The deal, which includes 27 A350-1000s and six A350-900s, is valued at USD 13.7 billion.

The order will supplement the airline’s long-term fleet operations as it gradually retires its older aircraft. The procurement of the next-generation, eco-friendly A350 is not only aligned with the airlines’ sustainability efforts, but also is seen as preparation for the integration of Asiana Airlines.

The A350-1000 is the largest in the A350 family, and can accommodate from 350 to 410 passengers in a standard three-class configuration. The aircraft makes use of advanced composite materials, resulting in reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions of up to 25%, in comparison to similarly sized previous generation aircraft models.

With the longest flight range among existing passenger aircraft, the A350-1000 can operate up to 16,000km with full payload.

The A350-900 variant is about 7 meters shorter than the A350-1000 with a range of 15,370km and typically seats 300-350 passengers in a three class layout. The airline can deploy the aircraft on its long-haul routes such as Seoul Incheon-New York, where the airline currently operates two daily flights.

In addition to the agreement to purchase 33 A350s, Korean Air plans to introduce 50 Airbus A321neos, 10 Boeing 787-9s, 20 Boeing 787-10s, and 30 Boeing 737-8s. The airline will continue to prioritize fleet modernization and reduction of carbon emissions through the operation of new aircraft and other sustainability activities.