Korean Air has confirmed an order for 33 new-technology long-haul widebody aircraft with Airbus.

The deal includes 27 A350-1000s and six A350-900s, valued at $13.7 billion at list prices.

Korean Air says the order will supplement the airline’s long-term fleet operations as it gradually retires its older aircraft.

The carrier also noted that adding A350 aircraft made sense as it prepares to integrate Asiana Airlines into its business. Asiana already operates 15 A350-900s and it has 15 additional –900s and larger –1000s on order.

The A350-1000 is the largest variant in the A350 family and can accommodate from 350 to 410 passengers in a standard three-class configuration.

Korean Air will join existing operators including Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines and British Airways in operating the A350-1000.

Korean Air says it may deploy the aircraft on its long-haul routes such as Seoul Incheon-New York, where the airline currently operates two daily flights.

In addition to the agreement to purchase 33 A350s, Korean Air plans to introduce 50 Airbus A321neos, 10 additional Boeing 787-9s, 20 787-10s, and 30 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Korean Air expects to return to approximately 96 per cent of pre-pandemic capacity levels this summer.

With its global hub at Incheon International airport (ICN), the flag carrier currently serves 111 cities in 40 countries on five continents with a fleet of 160 aircraft.