May 5, 2000, Taipei, Taiwan -- China Airlines announced on May 5 that it would inaugurate a Taipei-Frankfurt cargo route on the following day (May 6). The new route will utilize Boeing 747-200 freighters and will initially operate once a week, with the frequency later being increased in line with the growth of the market. This newest addition joins China Airlines' cargo route network, which now reaches to 25 destinations throughout the world, and follows the opening in recent years of routes serving Miami, Atlanta, Sydney, New Delhi, Colombo, and Kuala Lumpur.
The company currently operates eight weekly all-cargo flights to Europe, including seven Taipei-Luxembourg flights and one Taipei-Amsterdam flight, along with 10 weekly passenger flights to that region, including six Taipei-Amsterdam flights, two Taipei-Frankfurt flights, and two Taipei-Rome flights. The new cargo flight to Frankfurt, designated CI241, will fly Taipei-Bangkok-Abu Dhabi-Frankfurt and on its outbound leg will be able to carry 100 tons of freight. It will depart Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport at 3:40 a.m. on Saturday, arrive in Bangkok at 6:00 a.m., depart Bangkok at 7:15 a.m., and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 10:15 a.m.; then it will take off from Abu Dhabi at 12:35 p.m. on its continuing flight to Europe, and arrive in Frankfurt at 4:55 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The return flight, designated CI242, will have a capacity of 100 tons of cargo; it will take off from Frankfurt at 8:45 p.m. every Saturday evening and, after en-route stops in Abu Dhabi and Bangkok, will land back in Taipei at 9:00 p.m. Sunday night.
In addition to carrying cargo between Taiwan and Germany, the new route will also strengthen the transport of transshipment goods traveling between Asia and Northern, Eastern, and Western Europe. It will have a powerful positive effect in helping promote economic and trade links between Taiwan and Europe, and in boosting the government's policy of developing Taiwan into an Asia-Pacific air transportation center.
China Airlines currently operates 10 all-cargo aircraft: two B747-400Fs and eight B747-200Fs. By 2003 the company's cargo fleet will expand to 17 aircraft, including 13 B747-400Fs and four B747-200Fs. The company's freighter operations are concentrated primarily on long-haul flights to Europe and America. The Taiwan-U.S. cargo route network is particularly well developed, serving a comprehensive distribution of major destinations that encompasses Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Atlanta. Following the delivery of three new B747-400F freighters in July this year, China Airlines will increase its cargo flights to Europe in order to provide more convenient shipping services to that continent.