China Airlines retiring B747s and evaluating Ontario California route
Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) this week confirmed to Orient Aviation it would retire its entire B747-400 passenger fleet before year end. Read More »
“CAL has received ten B777-300ERs from 2014-2016. Equipped with CAL’s signature cabin interiors, the B777 fleet is replacing CAL’s vintage B747-400s on long haul routes. All the vintage Pratt & Whitney-powered B747-400 aircraft will be retired by the end of 2017,” the airline said.
CAL has six -400s left in service. The oldest frame is 19 years old and the youngest is 12. The Jumbo Jets are now flying on high-capacity regional routes from Taipei, including flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok.
CAL Cargo operates 18 B747Fs and these freighters will stay in the fleet. CAL Cargo is expected to perform well over the next two years as it benefits from orders from the island’s many Apple suppliers. “China Airlines is doing well in the cargo business, and with Apple introducing the new iPhone in September, there will be an uptick in demand for shipping electronics components,” an analyst at President Capital Management Corp., Jin Chang, told Bloomberg. CAL Cargo is the sixth largest freight carrier in the world in volume carried.
In other CAL news,Taiwan’s flag carrier could be entering unchartered skies if it goes ahead with a new route from Taipei to Ontario in California. It is currently under evaluation “due to increasing demand for travel between Taiwan and California”.
CAL said a feasibility study it conducted on the route returned an “enthusiastic response as the airport is more convenient for travellers living on the east side of Greater Los Angeles”. CAL said the Ontario service would “dramatically cut travel, immigration and luggage pickup times”. Eastern Los Angeles has a significant population with Chinese ethnicity and California is Taiwan’s fourth-largest trading partner.
CAL said a formal agreement would be signed between the airline and Ontario Airport “once all related preparations are completed”. The carrier is expected to receive significant subsidiaries and/or other concessions from the airport operator if the route is launched.