Taiwan’s China Airlines is set to modernise its cargo fleet after having finalised an agreement with Boeing to order six 777 freighters.
The airline said the deal, which is valued at $2.1bn according to list prices, currently operates one of the world’s largest 747 freighter fleets and plans to transition to the largest and longest range twin-engine freighters in the industry as it launches operations from Taipei to North America.
China Airlines first announced its intent to purchase the 777 freighters at the Paris Air Show in June its intent to purchase the 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 long-range trans-Pacific routes in excess of 6,000 nautical miles with 20% more payload than other large freighters like the 747-400F, meaning fewer stops and reduced landing costs. Boeing said this means the aircraft will provide China Airlines with the lowest trip cost of any large freighter and deliver superior ton-per-mile economics.
The 777 freighter can accommodate 27 standard pallets that measure 2.5 m x 3 m on the main deck, enabling lower cargo handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times. Its maximum payload is 102 tons.
Hsieh Su-Chien, chairman of China Airlines, commented: “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. 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.”
Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing for The Boeing Company, added: “With the global air freight market forecasted to double over the next 20 years, the 777 Freighter’s market-leading capabilities and economics will help China Airlines extend their network and grow their future cargo business.”