MIAMI – Taiwan’s China Airlines (CI) is revising the livery on its aircraft to avoid confusion with planes from mainland China, particularly Air China’s (CA).

Taiwan News last week reported that CI received its first Boeing 777 freighter at Taoyuan International Airport (TPE). Photos of the craft show hints of what the new livery may look like. The airline’s name has been move aft and made smaller. And the front of the plane is blank “to enable future painting of Taiwan-themed imagery,” according to Lin Chia-lung, Taiwan transportation minister.

Rebranded Boeing 777 Freighter for China Airlines. Photo: China Airlines

China Airlines has ordered six new Boeing 777 Freighters. The twin-engine cargo plane can fly long-range trans-Pacific routes in excess of 6,000 nautical miles. It has 20 percent more payload than other large freighters like the 747-400F, according to Boeing.

The 777 Freighter can carry 27 standard pallets measuring 2.5 meters x 3 meters on its main deck. This allows for lower cargo-handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times, Boeing added.

Phoyo: Luca FLores/Airways

International Confusion


China Airlines has often been confused with Air China (CA) — the Chinese government-owned carrier — at international destinations. On diplomatic missions, and when delivering Taiwan’s donations of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline was often mistaken for being associated with mainland China.

Taiwan has taken major efforts this year to avoid misrepresentation with China. According to a post on airlinegeeks.com, the name “China Airlines” has caused confusion around the world. In July, Taiwan’s legislature approved a proposal to have the Ministry of Transportation and Communication come up with a rebranding plan.

Many proponents advised renaming the airline. However, the Taiwanese government is concerned that doing so would anger China and negatively impact Taiwan’s air freedom privileges.

Also, in August, Taiwanese officials unveiled a new passport design to stop confusion between its nationals and citizens of China. In the new passport, the word “Taiwan” is significantly larger and bolder, and the design has eliminated the words “Republic of China.” The Chinese characters for “Republic of China” still remain, albeit smaller than on the first version.


Featured image: Max Langley/Airways

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