Taiwan-based China Airlines said on Thursday its board had approved the purchase of four more Boeing 777F freighters, adding to an earlier order for six of the same model as it steps up capacity to support booming exports.
The jets would begin deliveries from 2023, it added in a statement. Three of the six previously ordered aircraft have already arrived.
China Airlines, Taiwan’s largest carrier and the world’s fifth-largest air freight operator, also operates 18 Boeing 747 freighters as well as 10 777-300 passenger jets in its long-haul fleet.
Boeing this week said it aims to increase its 777 and 777X production to three aircraft per month in 2022 from two previously, fuelled by orders for freighters amid booming air cargo demand.
The aircraft manufacturer reiterated plans to deliver the first 777X in late 2023.
Exports Reach Record High
Taiwan’s exports rose 29.4% in 2021 to a record high, driven by solid global demand for advanced semiconductors and other high-technology goods, the Ministry of Finance said.
Taiwan, a major semiconductor manufacturer, has benefited from demand for tablets, laptops and other gadgets during the work-from-home and online education trends during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Exports totalled $446.45 billion in 2021 and Taiwan recorded a trade surplus of $65.28 billion last year, up 10.7% from a year earlier, the data showed.
Its top two chipmakers plan to hire more than 10,000 engineers this year to bolster their aggressive expansion plans.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is looking to hire about 8,000 engineers while MediaTek said it would take on more than 2,000 extra employees.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell