China Airlines To Replace Its Airbus A330s With 16 New Boeing 787s

  • China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-409 (F) (2)

    China Airlines

    IATA / ICAO Code:
    CI / CAL

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub (s):
    Taoyuan International Airport

    Year Founded:
    1959

    Alliance:
    SkyTeam

    Airline Group:
    China Airlines Group

    CEO:
    Hsieh Shih-Chen

    Country:
    Republic of China

China Airlines has announced it will purchase 16 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners to replace its aging Airbus A330 fleet. The Taiwanese carrier also has the option for a further eight aircraft and expects deliveries to begin from 2025.

China Airlines’ billion-dollar Dreamliner deal

Taiwan’s China Airlines has announced a deal with Boeing for 16 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The carrier had been mulling over its options to replace its Airbus A330-300s and has now decided in favor of the US-based planemaker.

According to Reuters, the deal is worth up to $ 4.6 billion at list prices, although Bloomberg reports it is worth around $ 2.1 billion based on estimates from aircraft appraiser Avitas. The agreement also entails options for another eight planes.

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The order for 16 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners also includes an option for another eight jets. Photo: Getty Images

This will be the first time China Airlines operates the Dreamliner and the second Taiwanese carrier to do so after EVA Air, which currently operates 10 Dreamliners and awaits delivery of a further 11 planes.

The Dreamliner will become an integral part of China Airlines’ medium and long-haul network, while the carrier also noted its spacious cargo capacity in the belly will further add to its value. Deliveries are set to begin in 2025 as Boeing scrambles to clear its backlog having only resumed Dreamliner deliveries earlier this month.

Conversion rights to -10 variant

The agreement with Boeing also includes rights to convert parts of its order to the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner variant. The 787-10 is the largest variant in the Dreamliner program and the least popular in terms of sales at 182 orders, falling short of the 787-9 (890 orders) and 787-8 (416 orders).

As for China Airlines’ Airbus A330-300 fleet, the carrier has 22 of the type with an average age exceeding 14 years. The vast majority of its A330 fleet is on lease, with the first aircraft arriving back in 2004.

The Taiwanese airline has been busy renewing its fleet in recent years. This includes welcoming the Airbus A321neo to replace its Boeing 737-800s, along with the addition of the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A350-900 in the last half-decade.

Dreamliner program back on track

Today’s announcement is another piece of good news for Boeing after the manufacturer resumed Dreamliner deliveries this month. As Simple Flying reported on August 10th, American Airlines took Boeing’s first 787 Dreamliner delivery for 15 months.


American Airlines was the recipient of Boeing’s first Dreamliner delivery in over a year. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

German carrier Lufthansa also took delivery of its first Boeing 787 this week, which was also the first 787-9 variant delivery in over a year. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner program has been beset with production problems that forced Boeing to suspend deliveries as it sought to fix the issues, which included poorly sized shims leaving gaps in the fuselage.

What do you think of China Airlines’ decision to take the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner? Let us know your insights in the comments.

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