The Korea Herald

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Korean aviation market to grow rapidly in next decades: Airbus

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Published : Oct. 17, 2011 - 20:41

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South Korea’s air transportation market will see robust growth in the next two decades largely due to growing demand for large-size aircraft for passenger traffic, a European aerospace company said Monday.

“We foresee that the South Korean aviation market will have a demand for 382 new aircraft over the next 20 years, worth around $67 billion,” said Richard Carcaillet, the director of product marketing from Airbus, in a media briefing in Seoul. Airbus is a consortium of European aerospace companies from France, Germany, Spain and Britain.

He said that South Korean air carriers, including leading flagship companies Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airline Inc., are forecast to prefer widebody aircraft with more than 100 seats, reflecting a rapid growth in international passengers.

Airbus predicted that South Korean companies will order 167 single-lined aircraft of the A320 series, 172 mid-range models of the A330 and A350, and 44 of the largest A380 planes until 2030.

South Korea’s orders for the mid-size aircraft or bigger are expected to take up 56.3 percent of the total, compared with the world’s average of 31.3 percent.

“High demand for widebody aircraft in the country reflected expected average annual growth in passenger traffic of around 4.9 percent per year, with the highest proportion of traffic traveling through the capital,” said Carcaillet.

“As overall traffic continues to grow, we will see demand increase on the most heavily traveled routes, which can only be served efficiently by very large aircraft such as the A380.”

The A380 is a double-decker, four-engine jet airliner with more than 400 seats, that entered commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines.

South Korea’s Korean Air has ordered 10 A380 planes and four of them are already in service. Asiana has ordered six A380 aircraft, said Airbus.

South Korean airlines have been one of the biggest clients of Airbus with a total of 126 orders since the European airliner manufacturer received an order from Korean Air in 1974, its first non-European client. 

(Yonhap News)