Taiwanese carrier, China Airlines has signed an agreement with Boeing for three B777 Freighters and an additional three options, both to meet expanding demand and replace older aircraft. No timeline for deliveries was given.
China Airlines plan to operate these B777Fs mainly to the Europe and North American market to meet what it says is growing demand. At the same time, B777Fs will be used to replace some older B747-400Fs currently in service. Currently the carrier has 18 B747-400Fs in its fleet.
From 2014 to 2016, China Airlines introduced a total of 10 fuel-efficient B777-300ER passenger aircraft into its fleet.
China Airlines notes that both the B777F and B777-300ER enjoy B777 family commonality and are equipped with the same GE90 engine, which not only reduces maintenance cost and improves maintenance program management, but also provides more flexibility for common type pilot deployment.
The current 777-300ER pilot could easily fly 777F after receiving difference training, the carrier says.
Additionally, the airline notes that the B777F and B747-400F ULDs are highly compatible in terms of cargo loading operation, which leads to smooth transit cargo handling.
Compared to the B747-400F, the B777F enjoys more than 20 per cent fuel savings which will allow airlines to be more competitive when facing high fuel cost.