Korean Airlines (KAL) is phasing out all of its Airbus Industrie A300B4s and replacing them with newer, leased A300-600Rs as part of a wider move to modernise its fleet of widebody and narrowbody jet airliners.

Ansett Worldwide (AWAS) has acquired two of KAL's eight A300B4s and will take a third in late September. Japan Fleet Services (JFS) has bought a further three A300s. Of the two remaining General Electric CF6-50-powered aircraft, one is being broken up and another given to an amusement park.

KAL, in return, has leased two A300-600Rs from AWAS and two from JFS and is looking to acquire a further two. The four aircraft were all operated by Garuda Indonesia, which is now replacing its leased A300-600Rs with new Airbus A330-300s. AWAS has leased another two of the Indonesian aircraft to Qatar, while International Lease Finance is placing two with China Airlines.

Industry sources suggest that KAL is moving to accelerate the planned replacement of older aircraft in the face of growing competition from Asiana Airlines. The rival South Korean carrier will take delivery of the first 18 new A321s in early 1998 and was recently given final approval to buy the first 14 of a planned acquisition of 38 new A330-200/300s and Boeing 777-200/300s, 767-300s and 747-400s.

KAL plans replace its 12 Fokker 100s and 14 Boeing MD-82/83s, probably with either the Boeing 737-800 or Airbus A320/321.

Source: Flight International