Korean Air to buy 25 aircraft from Boeing for $5.5 billion

Monday, November 20th 2006, 9:52 pm
By: News On 6

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) South Korea's flag carrier Korean Air said Tuesday it will buy 25 passenger jets from Boeing Co. for around $5.5 billion, the largest aviation deal in the nation's history.

Under the agreement, Boeing will deliver 15 passenger aircraft and 10 freighters to Korean Air Co., the world's biggest mover of air cargo, over a 10-year period beginning in 2009, the airline said in a statement.

``The addition of Boeing's aircraft to our fleet will play an integral part in our development to become a leader in the world's aviation industry,'' Korean Air's chief executive, Cho Yang-ho, said in a statement.

Korean Air will use the planes to take a larger slice of global passenger traffic and ``become one of the world's top 10 passenger carriers by 2010,'' the statement said.

The Seoul-based company, which operates a fleet of 118 aircraft in 33 countries, forecast annual aviation sector growth of 5 percent to 6 percent over the next two decades, spurred in part by China's economic boom.

The contract was signed in Seoul on Monday.