Thursday, October 26, 2017

China Airlines nears new narrowbody decision

China Airlines intends to make a choice on a new narrow-body aircraft order by the end of this year, a senior executive said.

The decision between the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX will come soon, China Airlines SVP Steve Chang said on the sidelines of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) annual assembly in Taipei Oct. 24. The carrier intends to order 20-25 aircraft in this first stage, and may consider adding more later, Chang said.

The Taiwan carrier has previously said it was considering ordering 50 narrow-body aircraft, which would have covered the needs of the parent carrier and its subsidiaries. Now, however, the order will just cover the parent, Chang said.

The carrier is also considering whether to exercise its options for six additional A350-900's. These will probably be the -1000 variant, Chang said. The carrier operates eight A350-900s and has two more scheduled for delivery by the end of 2017. The other four A350s it has remaining on firm order are planned to arrive in 2018.

In the longer-term, China Airlines will consider an order for new wide-body aircraft to be used on routes in the Asian region. Such a decision will probably be made during the next two years, Chang said. The carrier still has some time before it needs these wide-bodies, as most of its A330 fleet is relatively young. The carrier may add more A330s in the short term if market demand makes it necessary, Chang said.

The airline still has four of its Boeing 747-400s in operation after retiring the remainder of this fleet. Chang said these four aircraft are about 10-12 years old and were the youngest of its 747s. China Airlines will use them on Asian routes and as spare aircraft. The carrier also operates 18 747 freighters, and another China Airlines executive said there were no plans to add to this number.

(Adrian Schofield - Aviation Daily / ATWOnline News)

No comments: