MIAMI — China Airlines (CI), one of Taiwan’s two largest airlines, has placed a substantial order for 31 aircraft, consisting of 25 Airbus A321neo and six Boeing 777 Freighters.
The airline intends to replace its fleet of Boeing 737-800s with the new A321neos, hoping to introduce the new airliner by 2021. In addition to the 21 planes on order, the airline has options for five more units.
China Airlines has, therefore, placed a firm order for 11 A321neos, whereas the remaining 14 aircraft will be leased. The airline will deploy the new planes on regional and medium-haul routes across Asia.
Boeing 777 Freighters
In addition to the A321neo order, China Airlines has booked six Boeing 777 Freighters, looking to replace older Boeing 747 Freighters it has in its cargo fleet. The airline plans to operate these aircraft on routes between Taiwan, North America, and Europe.
“After assessing all relevant aircraft features and considering the congestion of neighboring airports in Asia, China Airlines have selected Airbus A321neo as the optimum aircraft for the regional narrowbody operations,” noted the airline in a statement.
China Airlines also claims that the order is in line with current global aviation industry trends, which highlight that passenger and freight numbers will double within the next two decades.
The Taiwanese carrier currently operates a fleet of 87 aircraft, with a relatively young age of 9.1 years.
The airline’s fleet consists of 23 Airbus A330-300s, 14 A350-900s, 18 Boeing 737-800s, 10 777-300ERs, and 22 747-400s, which consists of 18 Freighters and four passenger variants.