Korean Air has ordered five 747-8 Intercontinental jetliners, from Boeing, at a total average list price value of $1.5bn.

Korean Air, which has already made arrangements to operate seven 747-8 Freighters, has become the first Asian airline to order the passenger version of the new, fuel-efficient 747-8, and plans to fly the aircraft on long-haul routes to the Americas and Europe.

The new 747-8 intercontinental, offering a range of 8,000nm (14,815km), has been stretched 18.3ft (5.6m) compared with the 747-400 to accommodate 467 seats in a three-class configuration.

Powered by new GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8 aircraft provides equivalent trip costs, 26% greater cargo volume, and 13% lower seat-mile costs than the 747-400.

The 747-8 includes a new wing design and an upgraded flight deck as well as features a new curved, upswept interior architecture to give its passengers more space and comfort, and add more room for personal belongings.

The first delivery of the passenger version will take place by the end of 2011, while assembly on the airplane will begin in mid-2010.