Filed at 5:19 p.m. EST
By The Associated Press
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Days after one of its cargo planes crashed in England, Korean Air said Sunday it plans to replace 15 aging planes with brand-new aircraft next year.
``Korean Air plans to sell off 15 aging planes and purchase 17 new ones from airplane manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus,'' spokesman Lee Seung-yon said.
After replacing the planes, all of which are 20 years or older, Korean Air will have 109 planes, which are 8.1 years old on average, Lee said.
The airline plans to purchase an additional 10 new airplanes by 2001, he said.
Lee denied the measure came in response to the recent accident, adding the expected purchases are part of its long-term plan to phase out older airplanes.
Korean Air has been plagued by a series of disasters at home and abroad in the past 16 years in which more than 750 people have been killed.
On Wednesday, the B747-200F cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Stansted Airport. All four crewmen are believed to have died instantly.
The plane, which carried 64 tons of cargo including electronic goods, was bound for Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy.
The cause of the crash was still under investigation.