China Airlines has finalized an order for eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners at the 2023 Paris Airshow. The order is set to will help replace China Airlines' rapidly aging A330-300s in the airline's wide-body fleet.
This new order for eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners brings up the total number of 787s that China Airlines has on order to 24. Besides this, the Taiwanese flag carrier has changed six of the 787-9s it already had on order to Boeing 787-10s, the highest capacity variant of the Boeing 787 aircraft type.
Why is China Airlines Ordering the Boeing 787?
According to Boeing, the goal of China Airlines in ordering the 787 Dreamliner is primarily to bolster the airlines bustling regional route network. On regional routes (shorter than 2-3 hours in duration), China Airlines will be able to employ its modern and higher fuel efficiency 787-9 and -10 Dreamliners to destinations with high demand. Examples of some routes that the Boeing 787-9 and -10 could be deployed on include Taipei (TPE) to Osaka (KIX), Tokyo (NRT), and Shanghai (PVG).
On most of these routes, China Airlines operates its 20-year-old Airbus A330-300 fleet, and while these aircraft allow for the airline to meet high demand, the impression left on passengers is sometimes negative due to aged interiors. This is something that China Airlines is attempting to avoid by acquiring new 787-9 and -10 Dreamliners, which will have modern and updated cabins. ,
Supporting Sustainability Goals
According to Boeing, utilizing the Boeing 787 in the China Airlines fleet will allow the airline to "...reduce fuel use and emissions by 20%, which will support the airline to meet its sustainability goals..."
Since the aircraft's introduction into the commercial airline industry in late 2011, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been crucial to helping airlines cut down on carbon emissions thanks to the aircraft's highly aerodynamic design and fuel-efficient engines.
From Boeing's latest figures in 2022, around 1,100 Boeing 787s have been delivered with another 1,700 on order. The Boeing 787-9 makes up the bulk of Boeing's 787 orders with around 1,000 aircraft, followed by the 787-8 with 400 orders and the 787-10 with 190. The 787-9 is the most popular and ideal choice for airlines looking to purchase the aircraft type due to its medium widebody capacity and long range.
Despite the popularity of the Boeing 787, the program has had its hiccups. In late 2021 and early 2022, Boeing experienced a slew of complaints and fines from airlines and regulators over quality control and engine issues related to the production of the Boeing 787. These issues have been resolved and Boeing has resumed deliveries of the aircraft, albeit on back-order.
The date of delivery for China Airlines' first 787 is looking to be in the late 2020s or early 2030s.
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