China Airlines has confirmed that it is to take up eight remaining options on its Boeing 787-9 order.
The airline had an order for 16 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with a further option for an additional eight. These have now been exercised, with the aircraft to be delivered from 2026 onwards.
The new aircraft will be assigned to regional, Oceania and long-haul routes to meet passenger demand. The option exercise will be finalized with Boeing shortly. Once complete, this will be added to the Boeing orders and deliveries pages.
China Airlines had previously decided on the purchase of 16 Boeing 787-9 passenger aircraft fitted with the General Electric GEnx engine back in August 2022 with deliveries to commence in 2025. The firm ordered eight additional aircraft, bringing the total size of the 787 fleet to 24 jets. These will all be delivered by 2028.
Interestingly, the orders placed may be converted to the higher capacity Boeing 787-10, if necessary.
The airline had previously introduced brand new fleets of the Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A350-90, Airbus A321neo and Boeing 787 aircraft, to enable fleet renewal and boost the airline’s competitiveness.
China Airlines plans to have a three-class cabin interior installed, featuring Premium Business, Premium Economy, and Economy. For those who ship cargo, the 787-9 is capable of up to 36 containers that can be loaded in the belly of the aircraft – allowing this capacity to be marketed by China Airlines Cargo.
Replace and Expand
Looking at China Airlines’ fleet, it’s clear that the Airbus A330-300s will be replaced as part of the fleet renewal. Currently, China Airlines operates 20 A330-300s in its fleet.
With an extra four Boeing 787-9s coming along, it will allow for a full replacement of the type and expansion. Some of the A330-300s duties will also be filled by Airbus A321neo aircraft – again, freeing further aircraft for expansion. Considering the range of the Boeing 787-9 can fly 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km) with a load of 290 passengers and cargo, that will open up opportunities for China Airlines.
It’ll be interesting to see how the airline exploits this new capacity, especially if they choose to size up to the Boeing 787-10.
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