EVA Air (BR, Taipei Taoyuan) plans to pivot away from narrowbodies in favour of more widebody aircraft according to the airline's president, Sun Chia-ming. Sun told Bloomberg that when the twenty-two-strong fleet of A321-200s is replaced, it will likely be with widebody planes.

The ongoing closure of mainland China, where the A321-200s normally fly, is partly behind this shift in fleet strategy. Sun is bearish on China re-opening anytime soon, and with other markets already reopened and passenger demand strong, he says there is a requirement for widebodies elsewhere in the network.

"Definitely, we are going to shrink the size of our narrowbodies," he said. "I read some news saying it’s very possible that China won’t open up until the end of next year. That means it’s bad for us.” Sun says even when China does reopen, not all routes will necessarily immediately resume or even resume at all.

According to the ch-aviation PRO airlines module, EVA Air is back flying to 52 destinations in 22 countries after Taiwan axed its inbound quarantine requirements in October. The airline has 89 aircraft (76 active) including the A321-200s, two ACJ318-100s, one ACJ319-100, three A330-200s, nine A330-300s, thirty-four B777-300(ER)s, four B787-9s, six B787-10s, and eight B777-200Fs.

Sun says his number one fleet goal is to get the outstanding four B787-9s and seven B787-10s delivered by 2024 and he'll then focus on the next fleet purchase decision. He added that the twelve A330s will be gradually retired over a six-year period from 2023. All three of the A330-200s are owned but eight of the A330-300s are leased. ch-aviation fleets advanced data indicates three of the A330-300s have 2023 end lease dates, two have 2027 end lease dates, and three have 2029 end lease dates.