Thu, Nov 11, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Major air companies expanding fleets to meet China demand

Staff writer, with CNA

Surging demand for flight services between Taiwan and China amid warming cross-strait links has prompted major carriers, including China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), to expand their fleets.

CAL spokesman Hamilton Liu (劉國芊) said yesterday that the company has bought 14 new A350 passenger planes.

Since delivery of the planes will not begin until the end of 2015 and nine CAL-owned 747s will be grounded for interior renovations in the next two years, the company will lease five A330s within the next 15 months for cross-strait services, Liu said.

Meanwhile, EVA Airways said that it would lease three A330-300s before the fourth quarter next year for Asian routes.

The second-largest airline in Taiwan began its plan to expand its fleet of Boeing 777s in 2005.

The last plane in the order will be delivered by early next year, EVA said.

Taipei-based TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空) has said that it will clarify any fleet expansion plans by today at the earliest.

TransAsia mainly serves the domestic market, but also has limited scheduled and chartered international services to China, East Asia and Southeast Asian destinations.

The company, which is planning to increase its flight services on mid and long-range air routes, is expected to list on Taiwan’s emerging stock market tomorrow after showing improved results thanks to growing demand for flights between Taiwan and China.

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