Korean Air is set to order 33 Airbus A350 aircraft in a deal valued at $13.7 billion – the European airframer’s second major deal for the widebody in a day. 

The order will comprise six A350-900s and 27 of the larger -1000s, the airline states, and comes as it prepares for the imminent acquisition of compatriot – and A350 operator – Asiana Airlines. 

KE A350-1000

Source: Korean Air

Korean Air is to order 33 examples of the Airbus widebody.

The A350s will mainly replace its older widebody aircraft, though Korean does not specify a delivery timeline. 

“The procurement of the next-generation, eco-friendly A350 is not only aligned with the airline’s sustainability efforts, but also is seen as preparation for the integration of Asiana Airlines,” the SkyTeam carrier adds. Asiana operates a fleet of 15 A350-900s. 

The commitment adds to Korean’s growing orderbook, which comprises orders for A321neos, as well as Boeing 787-9s, -10s and 737 Max 8s. 

The A350-900s could be deployed on North American routes, including to New York where Korean has two flights a day, the airline notes. It did not indicate a likely network for the larger -1000s. 

Korean’s A350 plans come hours after Japan Airlines announced plans to order additional examples of the widebody twin. The Tokyo-based carrier wants to introduce 21 -900s, of which 20 will be used – for the first time – on international routes, and a sole example for domestic services. 

JAL also said it would order 11 A321neos and 10 787-9s. The airline’s widebodies will serve JAL’s international network with a focus on Asia, India, and North America.