Boeing [NYSE: BA] and China Airlines today announced the airline’s intent to order up to six 777 Freighters to modernize its cargo fleet. China Airlines plans to transition to the world’s largest and longest range twin-engine freighter as it launches operations from Taipei to North America and Europe – two key markets that provide higher yields for the carrier.
“Air cargo is an important part of our overall business and the introduction of these new Boeing 777 Freighters will play an integral role in our long-term growth strategy,” said China Airlines Chairman Hsieh Su-Chien. “As we transition our Freighter fleet to the 777Fs from the older 747Fs, this will enable us to deliver world-class services to our customers more efficiently and reliably.”
The 777 Freighter is capable of flying 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 km) with a maximum payload of 102,010 kg (224,900 lbs). The airplane will allow China Airlines to make fewer stops and reduce associated landing fees on these long-haul routes, resulting in the lowest trip cost of any large freighter and superior ton-mile economics. In addition, the 777 Freighter features market-leading capacity for a twin-engine freighter, accommodating 27 standard pallets, measuring 96 inches by 125 inches (2.5 m x 3 m) on the main deck. This allows for lower cargo handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times.
“The global air freight market is forecasted to double over the next 20 years, and the 777 Freighter’s market-leading capabilities and economics will help China Airlines extend their network and grow their cargo business,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing of The Boeing Company. “We are proud to expand our partnership with China Airlines, building on our successful introduction of the 777-300ER passenger jet a few years ago. We look forward to delivering new 777 Freighters into their world-class fleet.”