South Korean carrier aims to place orders later this year as it eyes more routes to China, Europe and North America

Asiana is preparing to go on a buying spree later this year with the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 in its sights as it eyes new long haul routes.

Asiana considers A380 and 787 order w445
Despite a growing A330 fleet, Asiana does not plan to evaluate A350    © AIRBUS

The South Korean carrier says it has yet to issue a formal request for proposals (RFP) with regard to the A380 and 787, but it is considering these aircraft types. “As of yet, we do not have any detailed plan for purchasing the two [aircraft types], but we are thinking in a positive manner of considering the two airliner types in case we would need to purchase these aircraft in the future,” says the airline.

At this stage the carrier’s president Kang Joo-an has only said the carrier will consider the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 and that a decision would be made at the end of this year.

But any decision to purchase new widebody aircraft would partly depend on whether Asiana secures new international traffic rights, it says. If Asiana were to secure traffic rights to Paris and other cities in Europe then it may facilitate the need for A380s, and if it won more traffic rights to North America then it may provide the impetus to get 787s.

The Star Alliance carrier operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft and is mid-way through the introduction of a new fleet of A330-300s – a type which is in a similar size category to the 787 and forms the basis of Airbus’s newly developed 787 rival, the A350. However Asiana says it is currently not intending to include the new Airbus in the evaluation with the 787.

Although Asiana is a major 747-400 operator and is listed by Boeing as a “candidate customer” for the 747-8 stretch, the airline has also shown no indication that it will run a competition between the new Boeing and the A380.

Asiana later this year is hoping to launch a four times weekly passenger service from Seoul Incheon to Paris using a 777. But this depends on the outcome imminent of air services talks between South Korea and France. The carrier also hopes to launch new services to China.


Source: Flight International