Korean Air and Pratt & Whitney announce delivery of first A321neo

A Korean Air Airbus A321neo in flight.
Photo Credit: Pratt & Whitney

LONDON – Korean Air and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney have jointly announced the delivery of the airline’s first Pratt & Whitney GTF-powered Airbus A321neo.

The delivery

In an announcement posted November 29, Korean Air and aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney announced the delivery of Korean Air’s first A321neo aircraft, which the carrier aims to deploy into service in December.

Korean Air are yet to announce the first route of this aircraft, but it would likely be announced soon as December is coming up with lightning speed.

Korean Air made a major order with Airbus for 50 A321neo aircraft back in 2020, all to be powered by the Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.

Later in 2021, Korean Air joined the Pratt & Whitney GTF MRO network, which provides assembly, disassembly and test capabilities of the GTF engines.


Soo Keun Lee, executive vice president and chief safety & operation officer of Korean Air, said the following on the delivery: “We are delighted to receive our first A321neo, which will be a great asset to our fleet, network and passengers.”

“This fuel-efficient, next-generation A321neo will bring our customers’ experience to a new level.”

In addition, Rick Deurloo, president of Commercial Engines at Pratt & Whitney stated: “Korean Air becomes the fifth airline to operate two different fleets of GTF-powered aircraft.”

“Pratt & Whitney is uniquely positioned to power airlines’ needs across the latest single-aisle fleets, with GTF engines powering aircraft that carry 96 to 244 passengers and fly up to 4,700 nautical miles.”

Korean Air’s relationship with Pratt & Whitney

Dating back to the Boeing 707 era, Pratt & Whitney powered the Boeing 707 aircraft with JT3D engines, and since Korean Air’s commercial operations with the Boeing 707 aircraft, the carrier has shown great trust in Pratt & Whitney, with numerous aircraft in their fleet operating on Pratt & Whitney engines.

More than 70 aircraft in the airline’s fleet are currently powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, including the GTF-powered Airbus A220.

The fleet aircraft operating with Pratt & Whitney engines are the Boeing 747, Boeing 777, Airbus A330, Airbus A380 and the already mentioned, Airbus A220.

As the Airbus A321neo enters, the Pratt & Whitney GTF engines will deliver industry-leading sustainability benefits and dependable, world-class operating costs.

As the only geared propulsion system engine, the GTF powered aircraft will reduce fuel and Co2 emissions by 16% to 20% ,as well as a decreased noise footprint by 75%.

The engine is also certified to be run on 50% SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel), and is successfully tested with 100% SAF.

All in all, the enduring relationship between Korean Air and Pratt & Whitney is going strong, over 60-years later.


The addition of the Airbus A321neo will definitely be a boost in the fleet for the Korean carrier. With the aircraft currently doing what appears to be training flights, the grand entrance into service is to be seen in December.

With this being just one of the 50 GTF-powered Airbus A321neos that Korean Air ordered in 2020, it appears the carrier is certain of this being a marvelous fleet addition.

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