Korean Air is expanding its A380 fleet with the purchase of three more A380 aircraft. This firm order is in addition to the five A380 aircraft ordered by Korean Air in 2003.
Starting in 2010, Korean Air will introduce the A380 on high density traffic routes from Seoul to the US west coast, with subsequent destinations likely to include cities on the US east coast and Europe. Deliveries to Korean Air for the three additional aircraft are scheduled to take place in 2012 and 2013.
With Korean Air's additional order, Airbus has 192 firm orders, from 16 customers for the A380 programme.
"Our decision to purchase the A380 aircraft is in line with our vision to become a global leading carrier providing the best quality of service to our passengers," said Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air. "The A380 is a comfortable, environment-friendly aircraft for the 21st century and it will enable Korean Air to provide Excellence in Flight to our customers."
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, added: "We greatly value our partnership with Korean Air, and it is particularly satisfying to see our first and oldest customer outside Europe confirming his confidence in the A380 for its fleet renewal and growth strategy. The advanced technology and eco-efficient A380 will provide Korean Air with lower operating costs, greater range and outstanding new standards of comfort for its passengers".
Airbus' relationship with Korean Air dates back to 1974, when the airline became Airbus' first customer outside Europe. Today, the carrier remains one of Airbus' largest customers in the region, having previously placed orders for 51 widebody types comprising 32 A300s and 19 A330s.
Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for air transport and the environment. The A380 has unmatched fuel efficiency, consuming less than three litres per passenger per 100 kilometres. Its new-generation engines and superb aerodynamic performance mean that the A380 not only complies with today's noise limits, it is also significantly quieter than any other large aircraft flying today and produces only half as much noise on take-off and landing than the former largest commercial aircraft.
The A380 has the quietest cabin in the sky, offers more comfort in every class and more space for all. The aircraft's efficiency and advanced technologies result in outstanding economics, superior performance and high operational flexibility. The A380 also provides vital extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights. Compared to the former largest commercial aircraft, the A380 seats over 40 percent more passengers in a typical three-class, 525-seat configuration - with seat-mile costs 20 percent lower and range capability over 1,000 nautical miles longer.
Airbus is an EADS Company.