Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Korean Air have marked the delivery of the airline’s first 747-8 Intercontinental. The new fuel-efficient jet is the first of 10 747-8 passenger airplanes the carrier has on order.
“This new aircraft delivers better fuel economy,” said Walter Cho, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Korean Air. “That is important to a global airline such as ours. And it supports our goal to build and operate a first-class fleet of world-class aircraft.”
With this delivery, Korean Air becomes the first airline in the world to operate both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8. Korean Air currently operates seven 747-8 Freighters.
“Korean Air has been a valued Boeing customer for more than 40 years and we are honored to celebrate yet another milestone delivery together with their first 747-8 Intercontinental,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “As one of the few airlines that have operated almost all models of the 747 family, we are excited that Korean Air is extending the tradition with our newest 747-8 Intercontinental. I am confident that the 747-8 will continue to play an important role in Korean Air’s long-term success.”
Korea’s flag carrier currently operates a fleet of 87 Boeing passenger airplanes that includes 737, 747 and 777s. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 28 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters.
With a range of 7,730 nautical miles (14,310 km), the 747-8 Intercontinental offers 16 percent savings in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30 percent less noise. The airplane also features an all-new, 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.
Korean Air’s jet is configured with 368 seats and features the brand new First Class Kosmo Suite 2.0, which include a sliding door and higher partitions to provide added privacy for passengers. The suites are also equipped with updated in-flight entertainment systems, with large 24-inch high-definition monitors and new handheld touch remotes.
The airline’s Business Class Prestige Suites will feature staggered seating and privacy panels, along with 18-inch high definition touch screens.
Korean Air’s Aerospace Division is a key Boeing partner on both the 747-8 and 787 programs, supplying the distinctive raked wing-tips for each model. They are also one of two suppliers producing the new 737 MAX Advanced Technology (AT) Winglet.
Korean Air, with a fleet of 161 aircraft, is one of the world’s top 20 airlines, and operates more than 430 flights per day to 128 cities in 45 countries. It is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, which together with its 20 members, offers its 612 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 16,000 daily flights covering 1,052 destinations in 177 countries.