Korean Air acquires Boeing’s new next-generation jetliner

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Korean Air acquires Boeing’s new next-generation jetliner

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Korean Air on Wednesday became the world’s first carrier to receive the next-generation B747-8i jet airliner.

Korean Air held a ceremony to mark its acquisition of the plane from Boeing in Seattle with Korean Air Vice President Cho Won-tae attending. Cho is the only son of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho.

The B747-8i is 5.6 meters (18 feet) longer than the B747-400, which helped Boeing grow into a major airplane manufacturer in the 1990s. The additional length allows Korean Air to add roughly 50 more seats. Cargo space is also 27.9 square-meters bigger.

The plane is the fastest among large jets, with a top cruise speed of Mach 0.86. It can fly as long as 14 hours and cover a distance of 14,815 kilometers (9,205 miles). That’s 2,386 kilometers longer than the B747-400.

The weight of the airplane has also been reduced thanks to aluminum alloy. As a result, it has a fuel efficiency 16 percent better than the B747-400 and a 16 percent reduction in carbon emissions.

The Korean carrier has installed 368 seats in the plane: six in first class, 48 prestige class and 314 in economy.

The company plans to operate four B747-8is this year and run 10 total by 2017. The first B747-8i will make its virgin flight to Frankfurt, Germany, on Sept. 2.

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