Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) hopes to decide before year-end on an order for either Airbus A380s or Boeing 747-8s, writes Leithen Francis.

“Right now we are studying both aircraft [the A380 and 747-8] to see which meets our future requirements,” says CAL.

“We will probably make a decision at the end of the year or possibly later,” it adds, with deliveries begining in 2009 to start replacing its 15 Boeing 747-400s.

It plans to retain its 17 747-400 freighters so the 747 passenger aircraft might be converted into freighters, says CAL.

CAL’s sister carrier Mandarin Airlines also operates 737-800s and is about to place an order for eight new aircraft to replace its Fokker 50s and Fokker 100s. It has been considering the Embraer 190, 737-700 and Airbus A319 and, according to one industry source, Mandarin’s top management were planning to make a decision at the end of March.

Source: Flight International