Taiwan’s China Airlines has ordered four Boeing 777 Freighters, the manufacturer said Thursday, just a day after it confirmed it would increase production output of its 777 family from two to three a month in response to strong demand for cargo airplanes.
Valued at $1.4 billion at list prices, the deal increases the airline’s order book for the big freighters from three to seven. China Airlines already operates three 777 Freighters, along with 18 Boeing 747-400Fs.
“The 777 Freighter has played a critical role in our efforts to maintain profitability during the pandemic, and these additional airplanes will be an integral part of our long-term growth strategy,” said China Airlines chairman Hsieh Su-Chien. “Our fleet modernization program will enable us to deliver added value to our customers, especially as the global supply chain continues to evolve.”
Last year China Airlines saw its air cargo revenue rise 186 percent above that of 2019, nearly compensating for a 96 percent drop in passenger revenue. In fact, 2021 represented China Airlines Cargo’s best year in its history, as it generated more than $3.6 billion in revenue. Boeing calls China Airlines’ 777 Freighter “the perfect complement” to the airline’s existing 747-400 Freighter fleet, as both can accommodate 10-foot-tall pallets. The world’s largest twin-engine freighter, the 777F can fly to a range of 4,970 nautical miles and carry a maximum revenue payload of 102 tonnes (224,900 pounds).
"We are thrilled that China Airlines has again selected the 777 Freighter to serve as the backbone of its world-class air cargo fleet," said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' senior vice president of sales and marketing. "The market-leading capabilities of the 777 Freighter provide added capacity, improved efficiency, and greater value to China Airlines' customers, enabling the carrier to meet air cargo demand and position itself for long-term growth."