Korean Air has converted into a firm order the letter of intent that the carrier signed on June 21 at the 2011 Paris Air Show to acquire 10 Bombardier CS300 airliners.
The transaction also includes options on 10 CS300s and purchase rights for an additional 10. The firm order makes Korean Air, South Korea’s flagship airline, the launch customer for the Bombardier CSeries in Asia. Korean Air currently operates a fleet of 137 passenger and cargo jets to 115 cities in 39 countries.
“Korean Air’s selection of the CSeries aircraft to meet its route expansion requirements in the Asia-Pacific market, and our growing list of customers in the European and North American markets are testaments to the high value and operational flexibility of the CSeries aircraft program,” says Gary Scott, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Korean Air’s CS300s will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1521G geared-turbofan engines.
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the CSeries family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements in 2013 and beyond.
Bombardier says that, based on a 50-nautical-mile North American operating environment, the CSeries family will offer a 15 per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage. The manufacturer says the CSeries family will also offer greatly reduced noise and emissions as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nautical miles (5,463 kilometers). It will also provide passengers with widebody-style seating in a single-aisle aircraft.
The Korean Air deal increases firm orders for the CSeries family of airliners to 133 aircraft.
Other customers that have ordered for CSeries aircraft include Republic Airways (40 CS300s); Deutsche Lufthansa AG (30 CS100s, for subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines); Ireland-based Lease Corporation International Group (17 CS300s and three CS100s); Braathens Aviation (five CS100s and five CS300s, to be operated by subsidiary Malmö Aviation); a well-established, unidentified airline (three CS100s); an unidentified major network carrier (10 CS100s); and an unidentified European customer (10 CS100s).
These customers have also taken options on 119 CSeries jets and purchase rights on 10 more.