Korean Air to Add 30 Boeing Dreamliners to Wide-Body Fleet

Jun 18, 2019

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In what’s likely to be Boeing’s most significant airline announcement of the 2019 Paris Air Show, Korean Air has signed on to add 30 787 Dreamliners to its fleet. The carrier’s order consists of 10 Boeing 787-9s, 10 787-10s and another 10 787-10s leased via Air Lease Corporation (ALC).

Korean Air currently operates a fleet of 10 mid-size Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners — TPG and I attended the airline’s first 787 delivery event at Boeing’s South Charleston, SC plant back in 2017.

Korean Air's first 787-9 Dreamliner.
Korean Air’s first 787-9 Dreamliner.

Oddly, Korean Air offers the same seat in both business and first class — the well-regarded Apex Suite — but as the carrier has begun phasing out first class, it’s likely that these new aircraft will simply offer business and economy.

TPG examines an Apex Suite on Korean Air’s 787-9.

With this order, the carrier is quadrupling its 787 fleet — that’s certainly a notable boost. The 787-10 can accommodate roughly 330 passengers with two classes of service, potentially adding some 40 seats over the carrier’s current 787-9s, based on a standard configuration.

Model 787-8 787-9 787-10
Length (Feet) 186 206 224
Wingspan 197 ft., 4 in. 197 ft., 4 in. 197 ft., 4 in.
Seats (2-class) 242 290 330
Cargo Capacity 9 pallets 11 pallets 13 pallets
Range (Miles) 8,460 8,785 7,400
Total Orders 418 705 171

It’s not clear when the carrier will take delivery of its new Dreamliners, as the order has not yet been finalized. The 20 aircraft Korean Air is purchasing represent a total value of $6.3 billion, based on current list prices, in addition to the 10 extended-length 787-10s leased through ALC.

Korean Air serves 126 airports in 44 countries around the world, including North American destinations Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Honolulu (HNL), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), New York-JFK, San Francisco (SFO), Toronto (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR) and Washington, DC (IAD).

All images courtesy of the author.

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