China Airlines welcomed its first Boeing 777 freighter order out of the six announced during the 2019 Paris Air Show, as the airline looks to increase freight capacity and enter new markets.
The Taiwanese carrier officially becomes the 20th operator of the world’s largest and longest range twin-aisle freighter, amidst growing demand for dedicated freighter as the industry pivots to cargo to offset the pandemic impact on the passenger business.
“Air cargo demand has risen in light of the global pandemic and has played a critical role in maintaining profitability for our airline despite the downturn in passenger traffic,” said China Airlines Chairman Hsieh Su-Chien.
The airline aims to increase its cargo capacity by 15 percent in 2021 and is planning to launch the 777F on routes connecting Taipei with North America—a key market with strong demand and escalating yields, it noted.
The cargo plane has a range of 9,200 km (4,970 nautical miles) and can carry a maximum payload of 102,010 kilos (224,900 lbs), which means fewer stops and reduced associated landing fees on long-haul routes.
China Airlines’ all-Boeing freighter fleet debuted its new freighter during a ceremony in Taipei to mark its 61st anniversary. It now has 18 747Fs and 1 777F that can carry tall and outsized cargo on 3-metre pallets. This common main-deck pallet height capability enables interchangeable pallets.
“With the global air cargo fleet expected to grow by more than 60% over the next 20 years, the unmatched efficiency of the 777 Freighter will significantly boost China Airlines’ air cargo capabilities and enable them to scale their world-class cargo operations,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing for Boeing.