Taipei, Taiwan, December 16, 1999 -- China Airlines today announces that it will add Colombo, Sri Lanka to its European cargo route on December 17 (Friday). The new service will use Boeing 747 freighters and initially be operated on weekly basis, with the frequency being increased as future demand expands. Colombo will be the newest destination to China Airlines' cargo network, following newly inaugurated services to Miami, Atlanta, Sydney and New Delhi in the past two years.
With a capacity of 100 metric tons, the new Taipei-Colombo-Abu Dhabi-Luxembourg flights (flight number CI343) will take off from Taoyuan International Airport at 9:45 p.m. on Friday and arrive in Colombo at 2:15 a.m. on Saturday. The flight will take off again at 4:00 p.m. from Colombo, stop at Abu Dhabi and land at Luxembourg at 11:40 a.m the same day. For the return flight (flight number CI344), they will take off from Luxembourg at 3:55 p.m. on Saturday, stop at Abu Dhabi and Bangkok, and arrive at Taoyuan International Airport at 4:35 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to the new Colombo flight, China Airlines also operates six cargo flights to Luxembourg and one flight to Amsterdam every week.
Ever since introducing economic reform in 1977, Sri Lanka has experienced rapid growth in economy with industrial production growth rate of 6.5% in 1997. Sri Lanka's import currently consists primarily of machinery, textile half-finished goods, shipping facilities and construction materials from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. It is expected that the new Taipei-Colombo service will not only increase Taiwan's export to Sri Lanka, but also enhance trade relationship between the two nations.
China Airlines currently operates a modern fleet of 11 freighters, including two Boeing 747-400F and nine Boeing 747-200F. By year 2003, the fleet will expand to include 13 Boeing 747-400F and 4 B747-200F. China Airlines focuses its cargo operation on services to Europe and the U.S. Currently Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Atlanta are included in its cargo network in North America. After introducing three Boeing 747-400F next year, China Airlines will further expand its cargo operation to Europe, providing even more convenient and efficient service to its clients.