Korean Air (KAL) has placed an order for five Boeing 747-8 passenger aircraft.

The airline expects to receive the aircraft from 2013 to 2015, says an airline spokeswoman. She adds that all five are firm orders.

The carrier will operate the aircraft on long-haul routes to the Americas and Europe, she adds.

"The 747-8 Intercontinental fills the void between the 300 and 550-seat airplanes in our future fleet," says managing VP of KAL's passenger business division Won Tae Cho.

The airline already has seven 747-8 freighters on order and expects to get its first in the fourth quarter of 2011.

It also has orders for 10 Airbus A380s and 10 Boeing 787s. The carrier will receive its first A380 at the end of next year, and will operate it on flights to Los Angeles, says the spokeswoman.

KAL's 747-8 passenger aircraft will have 467 seats, in a three-class configuration, and an 8,000nm range, says the airline.

It will also be quieter and more fuel-efficient, it adds.

"The 747-8 provides nearly equivalent trip costs and 13% lower seat-mile costs than the 747-400, plus 26% greater cargo volume," says the airline.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news