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Korean Air to buy 25 Boeing passenger, cargo aircraft for 5.5 bln usd


Seoul (XFNews-ASIA) - Korean Air Co said its board of directors has approved a deal to purchase 25 passenger and cargo aircraft from Boeing Co for 5.5 bln usd, in a record deal for the South Korean airline industry.

The contract involves 10 B777-300ER and five B737-700/-900ER passenger aircraft, as well as five B747-8F and five B777F cargo aircraft, over ten years beginning from 2009.

The order includes options for four 777-300ER, two 747-8F and two 737-900ER planes.

"The new airplanes will help modernize and improve the efficiency of our fleet," the company said.

Korean Air said it aims to maintain its title as the world's number one commercial cargo carrier, which it has been held for the past two years, and to become one of the world's top 10 passenger carriers by 2010.  

The long-range 777-300ERs will replace the 747-400 passenger aircraft that Korean Air is currently converting to freighters.

The 737-900ERs will provide extra capability for passenger routes to neighboring countries, it said, adding that the world passenger and cargo markets are expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.0-6.0 percent in the next 20 years.

Korean Air said the order will also help it meet increasing demand following China's liberalization of its aviation market.

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