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China Airlines chooses the 787-9 Dreamliner to modernize its fleet

China Airlines, the flag carrier of Taiwan, announced a multimillion-dollar agreement with the American aeronautical manufacturer Boeing for the acquisition of sixteen units of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to advance the process of renewing its long-haul fleet. The order also includes a further eight aircraft as a purchase option that can be exercised in the future, as well as conversion rights for the larger variant of the model. The order, valued at US$4.6 billion, is part of the fleet modernization process that the Taiwanese airline began four years ago, in 2018, but was interrupted two years ago [2020] due to the start of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID -19). Thus, the 787-9 Dreamliner was chosen to progressively replace the veteran A330-300 fleet, beginning with the first units incorporated by China Airlines more than eighteen years ago, in mid-2004. The politically sensitive agreement comes weeks after Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit to Taiwan, which sparked protests and threats from Beijing, which does not recognize the island's political independence, calling it a rebel province; it also fuels Sino-US trade tensions started five years ago [2017] by the Donald Trump administration. The agreement, however, was already expected, due to the closeness and long-term relationship between China Airlines and Boeing, in addition to the government of the island (which controls the airline) and the North American country. In addition to the sixteen units of the 787-9 Dreamliner as a firm order and eight more as an option to purchase, which add the possibility of operating up to twenty-four aircraft of the model in the coming years, China Airlines' order also includes the conversion rights of units for the 787-10 Dreamliner, the largest variant of the model; According to the Taiwanese airline, in its fleet, the Boeing 787 will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines and the first deliveries are expected to take place within three years, in 2025.

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