Korean Air (KAL) has converted its entire order of 10 Boeing 787-8s to larger -9s, and will now begin taking delivery of them from 2016 instead of this year.

"We've changed our plans to the -9, which will be able to fly more passengers," says a KAL spokesman.

The Korean carrier was initially scheduled to receive its first 787 this year, even though airline executives had indicated previously that deliveries were likely to slip, following delays in the 787 programme.

The new 2016 delivery date is not likely to impact the carrier's plans, says KAL's spokesman. "We have other aircraft on order that will join the fleet as well, such as Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s."

KAL is the latest airline to convert 787-8s to -9s, joining others like All Nippon Airways, Air China and Vietnam Airlines.

The carrier plans to convert two options for Boeing 747-8 freighter aircraft to firm orders, taking its total orders of the aircraft type to seven.

It is scheduled to receive the first in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Source: Commercial Aviation Online