Exports booming, Taiwan’s China Airlines orders 4 more Boeing freighters

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Passenger jets of Taiwan's China Airlines at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taipei,

TAIPEI – Taiwan’s China Airlines Ltd said on Thursday its board had approved the purchase of four more Boeing Co 777F freighters, adding to an earlier order for six of the same model as it steps up capacity to support the island’s 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 18 747 freighters.

Tech powerhouse Taiwan, a major semiconductor manufacturer, has benefited from demand for tablets, laptops and other gadgets during the work-and-study-from-home trend during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan’s exports rose 29.4% in 2021 to a record high.

Boeing this week said it aims to increase its 777/777X production to three aircraft per month in 2022 from two previously, fuelled by orders for 777 freighters amid booming air cargo demand. It reiterated plans to deliver the first 777X in late 2023.

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China Airlines also operates 10 passenger 777-300 jets in its long-haul fleet.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)