Members of a local Korean dance group waved fans in rhythmic motion at a colorful planeside celebration marking the delivery of Korean Air's first Boeing 777-200 Increased Gross Weight airplane.
In addition to dancers from Seattle's acclaimed Morning Star Traditional Culture Institute, the well-wishers included Korean Air and Boeing executives, Boeing employees who worked on the plane and a throng of local and Korean journalists.
The first of the newest Boeing widebodies for Korean Air will be joined by three other Pratt & Whitney-powered 777-200 IGWs by mid-1999, with the next scheduled for delivery later this July.
"The Boeing 777 is setting the standards for comfort, reliability and ease of maintenance," said Yang Ho Cho, president of Korean Air. "We are delighted to have this award-winning Boeing jetliner become part of our fleet. I join my fellow Korean Air employees in looking forward to welcoming our customers aboard this beautiful new Korean Air 777."
"Korean Air will be flying the most technologically advanced, customer-oriented plane in the world," said Ron Woodard, president of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. "This airplane is an entirely appropriate contribution to help Korean Air deliver to its customers a service that is truly 'Beyond Your Imagination'."
The Boeing 777-200 IGW is the newest member of the 777 family of airplanes to be delivered to airline customers. A longer-range version of the 777-200, it has the same physical dimensions as the initial -200 model, but uses the wing center section to carry an additional 14,220 gallons (53,826 liters) of fuel, for a total of 45,220 gallons (171,170 liters). This increases the range of the 777 to 8,225 miles (13,230 kilometers), with a maximum takeoff weight of 632,500 pounds (286,900 kilograms). This provides a range addition of 2,300 miles over the initial 777-200 model.
Special features of the three-class configuration selected by Korean Air include interactive in-seat video and telephones for first- and business- class passengers; overhead video and wall-mounted telephones for economy-class passengers; a large lavatory for disabled passengers; and four special electrical outlets (two in first class and two in economy class) for medical purposes or laptop personal computer hookup.
Based in Seoul, Korea, Korean Air serves 89 cities, including 14 domestic and 75 overseas destinations. The airline has been a Boeing customer since 1971, with 45 Boeing aircraft in its fleet.
With 318 announced orders, the Boeing 777 family of airplanes has captured more than 75 percent of its market since being launched in October 1990. The 777 fleet now consists of 49 airplanes in operation by nine customers worldwide.