China Airlines Chooses A340 for Long-range Operations 12 August 1999
China Airlines of Taiwan has selected the A340-300 as its preferred choice for medium-capacity long-haul operations, with an agreement with Airbus Industrie covering seven firm orders and one option for the type. In addition to the A340-300, the airline has also secured four options for the twin engine A330-300 for future use on regional operations.
With deliveries scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2001, the A340-300 will be operated by China Airlines primarily to destinations in Europe and North America. Importantly, the four-engine design of the A340 means that it is entirely free from the restrictions associated with the operation of twin-engine aircraft types on transpacific routes (ETOPS).
China Airlines will configure its A340-300 aircraft with a spacious three-class layout, offering accommodation for 263 passengers.
Commenting on the deal, Sandy Liu, President of China Airlines, said that the decision in favor of the A340 came after a thorough evaluation of all the available options under the carrier's extensive fleet renewal program.
"In terms of meeting the needs of China Airlines," he said, "the Airbus Industrie new-generation product line offers the unique advantage of operational commonality, which will enable us to add the A330 to the fleet easily when the time is right, significantly enhancing overall operating efficiency and profit potential."
Noël Forgeard, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Industrie, said that the selection of the A340 by China Airlines demonstrated once again the preference of the majority of the world's leading carriers for four-engine aircraft on long-haul operations.
"With the A340-300 in its fleet, China Airlines will be joining the family of world-class operators of the type," he said. "We are confident that this aircraft will play a positive role in optimizing the long-haul route network at the airline and are committed to working in every way possible to support China Airlines."
The A330/A340 family leads the market in the 250-380-seat category, having accumulated a total of 537 firm orders from 54 customers by the end of July, compared with 429 firm orders from 28 customers for competing products. Since entry-into-service of the first A340 in 1993, over 270 aircraft from the family have been delivered and are in service with 45 operators worldwide.
The A330/A340 product line has been especially successful in the Asian region, where China Airlines becomes the 15th customer for the family.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."