SEATTLE — China Airlines (CAL, 中華航空), one of Taiwan’s leading international carriers, took delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER as part of its efforts to upgrade its fleet and expand its transportation capacity.
It is the first of the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs the airline ordered in 2012. CAL will take delivery of the second and the third planes later in the month and in November, with the remainder of the new purchases to arrive by the end of 2016.
CAL’s first Boeing 77-300ER is expected to land in Taiwan late Saturday evening Taipei time.
The Boeing 777-300ER is equipped with GE-115BL turbofan, the most powerful jet engine in service. The airplane is about 19 percent lighter than other similar aircraft models and is able to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 22 percent. Saves NT$3 Mil. Per Year CAL said each environmentally friendly Boeing 777-300 ER is expected to help the carrier save about NT$300 million (US$9.87 million) in costs per year.
In the delivery ceremony held in Seattle, CAL Chairman Sun Huang-hsiang (孫洪祥) said that the introduction of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is a milestone for the carrier’s development.
For two years, CAL has devoted itself to designing the interior decor of the new aircraft, choosing to give the first Boeing 777-300ER what the company says is a “unique and beautiful oriental look.” The design features Song Dynasty style art which shows the works of the period’s famous poet Lu You.
Sun said that he has faith that CAL’s efforts in introducing the Boeing 777-300ERs into its fleet will boost the carrier’s competitive edge in the global airline business.
At the delivery ceremony, Ray Conner, president and chief executive officer of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, said that his company and CAL have built 50 years of close business ties and the Taiwanese carrier has become one of the most important customers of the U.S. aircraft maker.
Conner said that he expects the Boeing 777-300ERs will give Taiwanese passengers new flying experiences, while the new aircraft is expected to help CAL launch new routes and keep growing to maintain its lead over its peers in the passenger aviation business.
CAL’s first Boeing 777-300ER is scheduled to kick off its services in December, flying passengers from Taipei to Los Angeles.
In addition to the 10 Boeing 777-300ER, CAL has placed orders to Airbus to buy 14 A350-900 aircraft, delivery of which will start from 2016, to further improve its fleet.