Korean Air’s 1st Airbus A321neo FAL Makes Its Maiden Test Flight

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Summary

  • Korean Air’s tenth A321-200NX and the first produced at the Airbus FAL in Toulouse, France.
  • The aircraft, registered as F-WWAG for testing, will become HL8557 in the Republic of Korea.
  • Korean Air awaits 40 more A321neo planes by 2030 to add to their 162-strong wholly-owned fleet.

On March 12th, a brand-new Korean Air A321neo took to the skies for its maiden flight. Usually, it wouldn’t make the news, but this is the airline’s first-ever A321neo produced at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France.

The aircraft

The Airbus is part of Korean Air‘s order in 2015 for 30 A321neo aircraft. Airbus delivered the airline’s first A321neo seven years later, in October 2022. Korean Air promptly deployed it on short and medium-haul East and Southeast Asia flights.

The contract had an option for an additional 20 aircraft, which Korean Air triggered last year. The airline was more than pleased with the utility and efficiency of the aircraft and expects the manufacturer to clear the backlog by 2030.

Currently registered as F-WWAG for testing, the aircraft will be registered in the Republic of Korea as HL8557. According to ch-aviation, it will be the tenth A321-200NX in Korean Air’s fleet. It has the same configuration as the other nine aircraft, with four Prestige Class lie-flat Collins Aerospace Diamond Parallel seats and 174 slimline economy class seats.

Related


Korean Air Places Order For 20 More Airbus A321neos

Korean Air ordered more Airbus A321neo aircraft, taking its order book of the type to 50.

The assembly line

The FAL in Toulouse was where Airbus produced the A380. It was repurposed to produce A321neo aircraft. The first A321neo rolled off the Toulouse production line in November last year.

The manufacturer expects the FAL to increase production of A320neo family aircraft to 75 a month by 2026. According to Airbus, the backlog for the narrowbody stood at 8,598 aircraft at the end of 2023.

Airbus Infographic 2023 Commercial -Aircraft orders and deliveries

Photo: Airbus

Related


Airbus Unveils First A321neo Assembled At Ex-A380 Site

Airbus rolled out the first aircraft out of the new A321neo FAL at Toulouse, which replaced the assembly line of the Airbus A380.

Korean Air fleet

According to ch-aviation, Korean Air expects another 40 A321neo aircraft by 2030, which will be A321-200N models.

Korean Air currently operates a mixed fleet of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The airline’s fleet currently consists of 162 aircraft, all of which are wholly owned by the airline. 23 of these aircraft are used by the airline’s cargo division.

Korean Air A321neo

Photo: Korean Air

Here is a breakdown of the fleet:

Aircraft Type Active Inactive Total Backlog Average Age
A220-300 8 2 10 5.9
A321-200N 40
A321-200NX 9 9 1 0.8
A330-200 5 5 12.9
A330-300 17 4 21 19.7
A380-800 4 6 10 11.9
B737-700(BBJ) 1 1 14.6
B737-8 5 5 22 4.6
B737-800 2 2 12.4
B737-900 10 10 20.5
B737-900ER 6 6 11.8
B747-400ERF 3 1 4 18.5
B747-8 9 8.0
B747-8F 6 1 7 10.5
B777-200ER 4 4 8 18.8
B777-200F 12 12 8.9
B777-300 4 4 24.8
B777-300ER 25 25 9.8
B787-10 20
B787-8(BBJ) 1 1 9.1
B787-9 13 13 7 5.2
Total 144 18 162 90 12.0

  • rsz_airbus_50th_years_anniversary_formation_flight_-_air_to_air
    Airbus

    Stock Code:
    AIR

    Date Founded:
    1970-12-18

    CEO:
    Guillaume Faury

    Headquarters Location:
    Toulouse, France

    Key Product Lines:
    Airbus A220, Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Airbus A350, Airbus A380

    Business Type:
    Planemaker

  • Korean Air Boeing 787
    Korean Air

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    KE/KAL

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Incheon International Airport

    Year Founded:
    1969

    Alliance:
    SkyTeam

    CEO:
    Walter Cho

    Country:
    South Korea



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