Wednesday, December 12, 2007

China Airlines

China Airlines of Taiwan has announced that it has placed a huge order with Airbus for 20 Airbus A 350-900s of which 14 are firm orders and 6 are options. CI has confirmed that this aircraft type will fully replace its fleet of six Airbus A 340-300s in addition to be used to increase its flights to Europe and North America. The first A 359 is expected to be delivered in 2015 to the airline. In addition to this order, CI is also expected to place another order soon for either the A 380 or B 747-800 to replace its B 744 fleet as well as to add capacity to high density markets such as HKG, LAX, SFO & BKK.

Analysis :

Boeing has no one but themselves to blame for not getting this lucurative order from CI because of their failure to offer the 310 seater Boeing 787-100X to its clients. If such a B 787 model was available for sale, then it would have also grabbed a size able chunk of the EK order made for 120 A 350s. The next big order for the 270-320 seater market that Boeing stands to lose if it doesnt offer the B 781 by Farnborough 2008 is the 100 airplane order to be placed jointly by AF & KLM.

CI had already mentioned before that it will not be ordering the B 777-200LRs/300ERs for nonstop TPE-EU/UK/NYC bound flights as the aircraft technology would be outdated by the time the A 350 and B 787 enter the market place. The A 359 can easily fly TPE-JFK and TPE-LON/CDG nonstop without suffering a payload restriction. One cannot rule out a future order for 16 more A 359s to be placed to fully replace CI's fleet of 16 A 333s between 2016-18 as this aircraft type is an ideal A 333 / B 772A replacement aircraft.

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