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South Korean startup KAIR orders eight A320s

New South Korean budget carrier KAIR Airlines has placed an order for eight Airbus A320ceos.

The carrier has not yet announced its choice of engines for the aircraft, which will be between the CFM International CFM56 and International Aero Engines V2500.

At list prices, the deal is valued at $792 million.

The startup carrier will be based at Cheongju, and aims to start operations in 2018. It will concentrate on point-to-point services in north-east Asia.

“We see enormous potential for the development of a low cost model linking central South Korea with destinations in China, Taiwan and Japan,” says the carrier’s chairman Byung Ho Kang.

Airbus’s chief operating officer, customers John Leahy welcomed the order, saying that the manufacturer had been “impressed by the business model” being developed by the new carrier.

“We are confident that the efficiencies offered by the A320 will contribute to a successful launch by KAIR Airlines, bringing more choice for passengers flying in the North East Asian region,” he adds.

Although small in size, the sale is an important win for Airbus, as Boeing narrowbodies dominate among South Korean operators. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that there are 51 A320 family aircraft in service with carriers in the country, compared to 120 Boeing 737s.

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