updated 4/11/2005 9:48:39 AM ET 2005-04-11T13:48:39

Korean Air is ordering up to 20 of Boeing Co.'s new fuel-efficient 787 aircraft in a deal worth up to $2.6 billion at list prices, the companies said Monday.

Under the agreement, the South Korean flag carrier is buying 10 planes with an option for 10 more, receiving the first in 2009.

The new 787 "Dreamliner" uses lighter materials than conventional aircraft, which Boeing says enables it to use less fuel while still being able to fly long-haul trips.

Boeing said it has now received 203 total orders and commitments for the new aircraft _ viewed as key in the U.S.-based company's strategy to compete with European rival Airbus.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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