China Airlines, the Taiwan-based carrier, has announced the purchase of 16 Boeing 787-9 passenger aircraft fitted with the General Electric GEnx engines.

Deliveries are expected to commence in 2025 and the 787 will become the mainstay of the medium-capacity wide-body fleet.

The 787 will join the airline’s 777-300ER, A350-900 and A321neo types.

China Airlines embarked on its wide-body passenger aircraft replacement program in 2018 but evaluations were pushed back in 2020 due to COVID-19.

With the pandemic easing and the revival of the global passenger market, the evaluation and introduction process resumed in September 2021 the airline said.

China Airlines currently operates 86 passenger and cargo aircraft including the A350-900, 777-300ER, A330-300, 737-800, and A321neo.

These include 65 passenger aircraft as well as twenty-one 747-400F/777F cargo aircraft.

The A330-300 passenger aircraft will be phased out with the introduction of the new 787-9 aircraft in accordance with the fleet revitalization plan. The order included options for eight more aircraft as well as conversion to the high-capacity 787-10 model.

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