China Airlines has announced the purchase of 16 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to replace its ageing fleet of Airbus A330s. In addition, the deal has an option for an additional eight 787 aircraft.
The Taiwanese carrier’s Dreamliners would be fitted with the General Electric GEnx engine and deliveries are expected to begin in 2025. The deal is worth up to $4.6 billion at list prices, although airlines are poised to receive huge discounts based on multiple factors. The agreement also includes rights to convert parts of its order to the larger 787-10 variant.
China Airlines will become the second Taiwanese carrier to operate the Boeing 787 after EVA Air. The Dreamliners would allow the airline to phase out its fleet of 22 ageing A330-300s.
The Boeing 787-9’s cargo-carrying capacity is one of the reasons behind its selection over other aircraft models, making it a valuable addition to the airlines’ cargo capacity. China Airlines is one of the world’s biggest freight carriers with a fleet of twenty-one 747-400F/777F cargo aircraft.
Younger Fleet at China Airlines
According to the airlines, the 787s will become the mainstay of the medium-capacity wide-body fleet. They will join the carrier’s existing fleet of younger Airbus A321neo, Airbus A350-900, and Boeing 777-300ER planes to fly regional routes, medium-haul and long-haul in the post-pandemic era. China Airlines has been renewing its narrow-body fleet with the induction of Airbus A321neos to replace its Boeing 737-800s.
“The new fleets have been dispatched on long-haul, medium-haul and regional routes as part of the overall network strategy. The next generation fleets are ready for the post-pandemic boom.”China Airlines
“The 787-9 passenger aircraft is Boeing’s next generation flagship product, offering distinct advantages in terms of aircraft design, operational performance, and product penetration. The exceptional fuel efficiency of the 787-9 means fuel consumption and carbon emissions are approximately 20% lower than the previous model,” said China Airlines.
“This will not only greatly optimize the cost structure but also contribute to China Airlines’ goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
This agreement with China Airlines gives another boost to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program. Boeing resumed the 787s deliveries earlier this month. Lufthansa also took the delivery of its first 787-9 this week. The Lufthansa Group has an additional 31 Boeing 787-9s on order.