China Airlines finalised its agreement with Boeing to order six 777 freighters to modernise its cargo fleet. The carrier, which currently operates one of the world’s largest 747 freighter fleets, plans to transition twin-engine freighters as it launches operations from Taipei to North America. Valued at US$2.1 billion according to list prices, China Airlines had previously announced its intent to order up to six 777 freighters at the Paris Air Show in June. Three of the six 777 freighter orders were confirmed in July and posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website as an unidentified customer. The remaining three will post during the next update.
The 777 freighter can fly trans-Pacific missions in excess of 6,000 nautical miles with 20 percent more payload than other large freighters like the 747-400F. The airplane, which is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 102 tonnes, will allow China Airlines to make fewer stops and reduce associated landing fees on these long-haul routes. The 777 freighter accommodates 27 standard pallets, measuring 96 inches by 125 inches (2.5 metres x 3 metres) on the main deck.
“Air cargo is an important part of our overall business and the introduction of these new 777 freighters will play an integral role in our long-term growth strategy,” said China Airlines chairman Hsieh Su-Chien. “As we transition our freighter fleet to the 777Fs, this will enable us to deliver world-class services to our customers more efficiently and reliably.”
China Airlines, which marks its 60th anniversary this year, currently operates 51 Boeing airplanes, including 10 777-300ERs (Extended Range), 19 Next-Generation 737s, four 747-400s and 18 747 freighters.