Korean Air is not expected to retire its A380 from service until five years, the carrier told Flight Global. The carrier also said it will keep its Boeing 747-8I in operation for another 10 years, when it will have to withdraw all four-engine aircraft from the fleet.
Currently, the Asian airline is not using its 10 Airbus A380 while a dozen 747-8I continue to fly and another six are parked.
Korean is also not expected to return to service the four Boeing 747-400 existing in its fleet and which have a higher fuel consumption.
The base of the company’s long-range fleet has been the Boeing 777, of which it has 42 aircraft. There are also a sizable number of Airbus A330 (30) and ten Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners – the company has another 20 planes ordered in 2019.
Asked by Flight Global about the 777X, Korean Air CEO Walter Cho believes there is no demand for it so soon on the carrier’s routes.
In addition to the ten A380 of its own, Korean Air should incorporate another six aircraft belonging to Asiana Airlines, which is in the process of merging with it.
However, Asiana’s A380 use Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines while Korean has equipped its models with the Engine Alliance’s GP7200 turbofan, which makes the maintenance of all 16 planes more expensive.