Korean Air has finally selected the Engine Alliance (EA) GP7200 engine to power its new fleet of Airbus A380 super jumbo aircraft. The airline has ordered 23 engines for the five firm A380s on order and 13 engines for the three option aircraft in a deal worth a total of $470 million.

This order gives EA a 58% share of the A380 market with 320 engines ordered and a firm order value of $4.1 billion.

Korean Air Engine Alliance

The final deal was signed at noon yesterday on EA's stand (Hall 5) at Le Bourget and it wasn't a staged occasion either as both sides were still negotiating - and the documents were being amended - as late as mid-morning on Tuesday.

Commenting on the order, Yang Ho Cho, Korean Air's chairman and chief executive, said: "We're very pleased with the Engine Alliance's focus on reliability, maturity and cost of ownership as these were the factors that we were particularly interested in. We look forward to introducing the GP7200-powered A380s into the Korean Air fleet."

Engine Alliance president Bruce Hughes said: "Chairman Cho and his team plan to make Korean Air one of the top 10 airlines in the world within the next five years and the EA team and its parent companies - GE and Pratt & Whitney - are proud to be part of making that vision a reality."

The GP7200 will be certified at an initial thrust rating of 76,500lb (340kN) although plans call for increasing that certification rating up to 81,500lb to accommodate A380 growth. The engine has, in fact, been run reliably at up to 84,000lb thrust and approaching 90,000lb has been seen in the test cell during the certification process.

Source: Flight Daily News