China Airlines (CI, Taipei Taoyuan) has firmed eight B787-9 options to bring its total order for the type to 24 aircraft.

While deliveries of the first aircraft under the August 2022 deal will begin in 2025, the options are for deliveries starting in 2026. China Airlines expects all 24 aircraft to be in place by the end of 2028. The airline said it has the option to convert some of the aircraft into B787-10s, subject to demand.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows the Taiwanese carrier operates three generations of widebody aircraft. Twenty-two A330-300s are used predominantly on short- and medium-haul routes in North-East and South-East Asia, and are 15.2 years old on average. They are poised to be replaced by the B787-9s. Ten B777-300(ER)s are 8 years old on average, while fourteen A350-900s are 5.8 years old on average.

Both China Airlines and rival EVA Air (BR, Taipei Taoyuan) have been under pressure from Washington to order Boeing aircraft as a part of a tightening semi-formal alliance between Taiwan and the US in opposition to China. EVA Air operates four B787-9s and ten -10s, and has a further nine and six units on order.