China Airlines to Buy 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in Deal Worth $4.6 Billion

August 31, 2022

Taiwan carrier China Airlines has agreed to a deal with Boeing for 16 787 Dreamliner commercial jets valued at $4.6 billion at current list prices.

The deal, highly sensitive due to its political nature with China, was announced by the government-backed carrier only weeks after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei had angered Beijing and worsened tensions between the two countries.

As the government-backed carrier moves to renew its fleet, the Boeing deal could enrage China. This attention on security partnerships comes at a time when Taipei experiences its worst tensions with China in 40 years.

China Airlines will use the new widebody planes to replace its aging fleet of Airbus A330s.

Also in play is the 737 MAX jet situation. Despite Chinese authorities declaring the 737 MAX safe months ago, Boeing is still waiting for approval to resume deliveries of the jet to China. The country is being seen as stalling for geopolitical reasons by most experts.

Over time, China has balanced jet purchases between Airbus and Boeing, but it has been offline for five years as demand was stifled first by trade disputes and then by the pandemic.

In July, the Chinese government announced a contract for 292 smaller narrowbody jets with Airbus, according to sources, who described it as a carefully timed announcement months after the deal was struck.

Boeing has long been seen as a contender to win a Chinese order for widebody jets like the 787 once trade tensions ease.

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