Korean Air Lines Co. agreed to buy 20 widebody Boeing Co. 787 aircraft and lease 10 more as the U.S. planemaker got off the mark at the Paris Air Show after rival Airbus SE clinched a series of sales.
The Seoul-based airline will buy 10 new 787-10s and 10 additional 787-9 airplanes valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices, the carrier said in a statement on Tuesday. That will quadruple the long-haul fleet of Korea’s flagship airline, which is expanding its fleet and replacing aging jets following a transpacific joint venture with Delta Air Lines Inc.
The Korean deal is a welcome boost to Boeing, which is battling to restore its reputation after two fatal crashes of its 737 Max planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia over a five-month period. Airbus secured $13 billion in new jet orders on the first day of the Paris industry event on Monday, compared with zero for its Seattle-based competitor, including deals with Air Lease Corp. and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.
The Korean Air Lines deal with Boeing was first reported by Bloomberg News earlier on Tuesday. While Asian carriers in the region are adding more planes to their fleets to meet surging travel demand, they are also looking to retire their old aircraft that guzzle more fuel.
--With assistance from Kyunghee Park and Anurag Kotoky.