Korean Air (KE, Seoul Incheon) is close to announcing a new order for around twenty A350s from Airbus, Bloomberg News reported citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.

The Seoul Incheon-based carrier is reportedly interested in streamlining its fleet ahead of its long-planned merger with Asiana Airlines (OZ, Seoul Incheon), which is still awaiting approval from regulatory authorities in the United States. The order could be announced as soon as this week, although it mostly depends on the outcome of a board meeting set for March 21.

Korean Air has also reportedly evaluated acquiring aircraft in the Boeing B777X family. However, in 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, CEO Walter Cho said there would not likely be sufficient demand to justify an order for an entirely new type on its fleet.

ch-aviation has reached out to Korean Air for comment.

Bloomberg reported that the flag carrier was also mulling adding more A321-200neo.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that Korean Air operates 162 aircraft, including ten A220-300s, nine A321-200NX, five A330-200s, twenty-one A330-300s, ten A380-800s, one B737-700(BBJ), five B737-8s, two B737-800s, ten B737-900s, six B737-900ERs, four B747-400ERFs, nine B747-8s, seven B747-8Fs, eight B777-200ERs, twelve B777-200Fs, four B777-300s, twenty-five B777-300ERs, one B787-8(BBJ), and thirteen B787-9s.

Meanwhile, Asiana Airlines' fleet comprises one A320-200, thirteen A321-200s, nine A321-200NX, fifteen A330-300s, fifteen A350-900s, six A380-800s, one B747-400, six B747-400(BDSF)s, four B747-400FSCDs, one B767-300, one B767-300F, and nine B777-200ERs.

Korean Air wants to buy 63.9% of Asiana's stock in a KRW1.8 trillion won (USD1.35 billion) transaction that will create one of the world's largest passenger carriers. Its merger was recently approved by the European Commission and the Japanese government but is still awaiting US consent.