Korean Air has placed a firm order with Bombardier Aerospace for ten CS300 aircraft, making Korean Air the launch customer for the CSeries aircraft in Asia.
The transaction, converted from a letter of intent yesterday, also includes options on ten CS300 aircraft and purchase rights on an additional ten CS300 aircraft.
The airline currently operates a fleet of 137 passenger and cargo jet aircraft to 115 cities in 39 countries.
“We are embarking on a route expansion program into surrounding markets including China, and Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft provides a seamless fit with our wide body fleet,” said Won Tae Cho, Korean Air’s Executive Vice President, Planning and Strategy. “The CSeries aircraft’s economics, technology and environmental credentials are key factors driving our intent to acquire them.”
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the CSeries family of aircraft combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements in 2013 and beyond. The Korean Air CS300 aircraft fleet will be powered by Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan PW1521G engines.
The CSeries aircraft family will offer operating cost advantages, fuel efficiency, greatly reduced noise and emissions; as well as superior operational flexibility. It will also provide passengers with wide body-style seating in a single-aisle aircraft.
In addition to the CSeries, Korean Air ordered two B737-900ER aircraft yesterday.
In relation to expanding its fleet, Korean Air has previously ordered ten A380 aircraft; three of which will be delivered by the end of 2011 and the remaining five by 2014. The airline will gradually expand its A380 service to major destinations in Europe and North America, such as Paris and Los Angeles by the end of this year.