China Airlines has finalized the purchase of up to 24 wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline needs the jets in order to replace its much larger twin-aisle Boeing 777-300ERs.
“We are excited to introduce the 787-9 Dreamliner into our operations as we continue to upgrade our fleet with more modern, fuel-efficient airplanes. Adding the state-of-the-art 787 will help us reduce carbon emissions, while also providing our customers with unmatched levels of comfort,” said China Airlines Chairman Hsieh Su-Chien. “Our continuous investment in fleet modernisation is the cornerstone of our sustainability efforts. The 787’s best-in-class efficiency and low operating costs will allow us to expand our network for years to come.”
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been the bread and butter for most airlines as it is not only much more fuel efficient but also enables airlines to open up more markets, thanks to its longer range capabilities.
Under the current sale agreement, China Airlines has placed a firm order for 16 of the Boeing 787-9, with options to purchase up to 8 more aircraft this type. The Boeing 787-9 is the best selling aircraft in the 787-family and will allow the airline to operate with the lost cost per trip among the twin-aisle planes while reducing fuel emission by up to 25% compared to the Boeing 777-300ER it intends to replace.
“The 787’s superior fuel efficiency and range, combined with China Airlines’ existing fleet of 777-300ERs, will enable the carrier to grow efficiently and also expand its global route network,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “This is a milestone order in our continuing partnership with China Airlines, and the market-leading efficiencies of the 787 will play an important role in furthering the airline’s sustainability efforts.”
The aircraft sale agreement comes about two months after FAA approved the resumption of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner deliveries to airlines around the world. Before the recent resumption, Boeing had halted deliveries in May 2021 after the FAA raised concerns about its proposed inspection method. The FAA first reported it was investigating manufacturing flaws in some 787 jetliners back on September 2020.
Between May 2021 and August 9th, 2022, Boeing did not deliver any Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet. This was as a result of the safety regulators banning the deliveries as they discovered production flaws on this particular aircraft including unacceptable gaps between fuselage panels.
Before lifting the delivery ban, the FAA said that its inspectors will continue to perform final inspections on newly produced 787s until the agency “is confident that:
1. Boeing’s quality control and manufacturing processes consistently produce 787s that meet FAA design standards
2. Boeing has a robust plan for the re-work that it must perform on a large volume of new 787s in storage
3. Boeing’s delivery processes are stable”.
With the firm order of the 16 787 jets, China Airlines will now have a total of 22 Boeing Aircraft pending deliveries. This is because the airline already has a firm order of 6 Boeing 777-Freighters that the American jet-maker is yet to deliver.