Korean Air to receive seven widebodies in 2013

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Korean Air says it will take delivery of seven widebody aircraft this year, after the flag carrier posted its highest ever international traffic numbers in the fourth quarter to 31 December 2012.

The airline witnessed annual traffic growth of 2.4% on its international passenger segment, propelled by 12% growth to Southeast Asia, 8% to Europe and 6% to China.

As well as introducing new international routes to Colombo in Sri Lanka and Male in the Maldives, Korean Air has increased frequencies to Tokyo's Narita airport, Xiamen, Toronto and Paris.

Its widebody passenger jet deliveries in 2013 will comprise two Airbus A380s, one A330 and two Boeing 777-300ERs. It will also take delivery of two widebody freighters - one 747-8F and one 777F.

The airline will further receive two narrowbody 737-900ERs during the year.

Korean Air says its new A380s, which are due to arrive in July and October 2013, will primarily be deployed on long-haul routes to New York and Los Angeles.

Frequencies on the Incheon-New York route were already doubled to 14 weekly flights in January 2013, while Incheon-Los Angeles has increased from a seven times weekly to a 12 times weekly service.

The flag carrier introduced 16 aircraft in 2011 and 14 in 2012. It will receive a total of 53 additional aircraft by 2018, also including five 747-8is, 10 787-9s and 10 Bombardier CSeries CS300s.