EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) has canceled orders with Boeing Co for seven 787-10 Dreamliner passenger jets, replacing them with orders for three 777F cargo aircraft and four smaller 787-9 jets, as the airline looks to grow its cargo business and optimize its network.
“We are happy to have reached an agreement with Boeing about the order adjustment and expect it to help optimize our network,” an EVA official told the Taipei Times yesterday.
The airline signed the new agreement with Boeing on Monday, the official added.
EVA has received three of 18 787-10 jets that it purchased in 2015. The 18 jets were valued at US$6.58 billion at the time.
The three 777F and four 787-9 aircraft are valued at US$2.41 billion based on their list prices, lower than the US$2.56 billion cost of the seven 787-10s, EVA said.
The official did not disclose how much EVA had agreed to pay Boeing for the new orders, citing a confidentiality agreement, but said that the company had negotiated with Boeing about how to address the discrepancy in cost.
The size of the airline’s cargo fleet would rise from five to eight aircraft following the deal, compared with local rival China Airlines Ltd’s (中華航空) cargo fleet size of 18 aircraft.
As Boeing’s production has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery dates of the three 777F jets have not been finalized, the official said.
The airline would continue to use some of its passenger jets for its cargo operations before the three new 777F freighters join its fleet, the official added.
The airline’s cargo business posted revenue of NT$24.88 billion (US$842.8 million) for the first seven months of this year, a 76 percent year-on-year increase compared with a 63 percent decline in revenue at its passenger business.
The airline expects the cargo business to continue booming for the next few years, the official said.
The purchase of the smaller 787-9 jet — which can travel farther than the 787-10, but has a smaller capacity — would help EVA implement more direct flights between Taipei and European cities, such as Vienna, the official said.
Including the four 787-9 jets ordered and two 787-10 jets EVA has leased, the airline would have eight 787-9s and 13 787-10s in operation after taking delivery by 2022, the official added.
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