According to International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast, the number of global travelers will continue to grow in the next 20 years. In order to meet the growing demand, accommodate China Airlines network expansion, and replace its narrowbody passenger fleet currently in service, China Airlines have launched a narrowbody passenger aircraft replacement program.
China Airlines have maintained professional and objective perspectives during the new narrowbody aircraft studies, and carefully evaluated the economic benefits, operation and maintenance advantages, financial requirements, safety concerns, and environmental aspects of the next-generation narrowbody products. To insure the completeness of related analysis, China Airlines also engaged an external professional consultant to assist with the evaluations. After assessing all relevant aircraft features and considering the congestion of neighboring airports in Asia, China Airlines have selected Airbus A321neo as the optimum aircraft for the regional narrowbody operations. China Airlines will first introduce 14 leased A321neo which will enter into service starting in 2021, and the negotiation for additional 11 firm and 5 option aircraft orders will be initiated simultaneously.
The introduction of the new narrowbody fleet will be another important milestone for China Airlines after the 10 777-300ER and 14 A350-900. With the addition of the new A321neo, China Airlines will be able to deploy new generation aircraft to both long-haul routes and regional routes, and enjoy all the benefits including operational efficiency and better economics.
As a continuation of the new generation cabin products already provided by China Airlines 777-300ER and A350-900, brand new cabin designs will be implemented in the new narrowbody aircraft, including seating configuration and in-flight entertainment system. This way China Airlines branding will remain seamless throughout the whole fleet, providing diversified and advanced services to further enhance passenger experience.