CHINA AIRLINES (CAL) of Taiwan has placed a $1.4 billion order for up to eight Boeing 747-400s, as part of its continuing fleet-replacement programme.

The deal covers the purchase of four more Pratt & Whitney PW4056-powered 747-400s, for delivery between May and December 1997.

The carrier has options on a further four aircraft, for delivery between 1998 and 2002. The new aircraft will replace a leased Singapore Airlines 747-400 and two 747SPs due to be returned in 1997 and early 1998.

The order forms part of CAL's plan to re-equip and expand its fleet from 41 aircraft to 67 by 2003. In December 1995, it ordered six new Boeing 737-800s, for delivery from 1998, with options on a further nine, up to 2000.

CAL continues to evaluate the Airbus A330/A340 and Boeing 777 to meet its requirement for nine long-range 300-seat and seven larger, 350-plus-seat, aircraft. The new aircraft will replace its two remaining 747SPs and four McDonnell Douglas MD-11s, together with three 747-200s, which may be converted to freighters.

Source: Flight International