MIAMI – Today China Airlines (CI) took delivery of the first of six Boeing 777 Freighters that will boost its operations as demand for air cargo is high. The carrier expects to increase its cargo capacity by 15% in 2021.

The aircraft will be used on the Taipei-North America routes, as per the CI statement. The US is a key market with strong demand and escalating yields. Referring to the carrier’s cargo operations, CI Chairman Hsieh Su-Chien declared these have played a “critical” role in maintaining the airline’s profitability despite the drop in passenger traffic.

Beyond the pandemic crisis, Hsieh said the Boeing 777 Freighter would also modernize the airline’s freighter fleet. Additionally, it would allow the carrier to increase its capacity and enter into new markets. On his part, Senior VP of Commercial Sales and Marketing for Boeing Ihssane Mounir said CI’s global air cargo fleet was expected to grow by over 60% in the next 20 years.

China Airlines announced the six-aircraft order at the 2019 Paris Air Show before the pandemic hit.

Boeing 777 Freighter test flight. Photo: Andrew W. Sieber.

Fleet Advantages for the Airline’s Goal

The goal of the carrier in air cargo operations is to deliver a world-class service to its customers, said Hsieh. To achieve this, the airline will make fewer stops and reduce associated landing fees on long-haul routes with the all-Boeing 777 freighter fleet. Individually, these have a range of 9,200 km (4,970 nautical miles) and a maximum payload of 102,010 kg (224,900 lbs)

Boeing also provides CI with total life cycle support services to streamline parts provisioning and flight and maintenance operations.

Apart from the used Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro application, the airline recently signed an agreement for Airplane Health Management (AHM). This allows CI to track real-time airplane information that could reduce disruptions in operations and costs associated with unscheduled maintenance. 

Featured photo: China Airlines Boeing 777 Freighter. Photo: Boeing.