China Airlines deploys A350 to grow in North America but risks overexpansion in Europe
China Airlines has sat out on long haul growth over the last decade and is now looking to reinvigorate its position, making wins against local rival EVA Air, which has quietly but spectacularly grown. EVA, however, now faces uncertainty with new owners that may favour conservative expansion, which could benefit China Airlines. But China Airlines remains in a difficult position, one where it is under too much influence from its government owners, has an undefined vision, and lacks having aircraft on order.
China Airlines has received four A350s, with another 10 due by the end of 2018. China Airlines will have twice as many A350 flights to North America as to Europe – the market it originally envisaged for the A350.
European A350 growth could expand as China Airlines plans to resume London in Jun-2017. China Airlines could also consider a new service to Paris. Europe risks long term overcapacity, however, and this is not a strong market for Taiwan. Growth options are limited to North America, where China Airlines needs longer range aircraft but does not have any more 777-300ERs on order.
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