June 30, Taipei - The June issue of England's Airtrade magazine cited International Air Transport Association(IATA) statistics ranking China Airlines 10th in the world in volume of air freight carried, putting CAL among the top 10 airlines in this category for the first time. At the same time, CAL held firmly to its top position in Taiwan market share, advancing toward the 30% target in both import and export cargo.
China Airlines moved into the top 10 cargo airlines by carrying 2.76 billion ton-kilometers of cargo on international routes in 1997, following only Lufthansa, Korean Airlines, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Cathay Pacific, and Federal Express. Airtrade magazine also predicted, "China Airlines' continued expansion suggests it could climb the rankings next year."
According to statistics compiled by the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines(AAPA), CAL achieved a cargo load factor of 88.2% in 1997, capturing top place among the AAPA's 19 member airlines. Cargo revenue for the year reached NT$16.2 billion, an increase of 24.47% over the year before. The total volume of cargo carried during the year(including domestic service), amounting to 2.89 billion ton-kilometers, represented a growth of 21%. Despite the impact on the domestic economy of the Asian financial turmoil that erupted in July of 1997, CAL's cargo business continued growing in 1998, registering an increase of 4.3% in the first five months of the year.
China Airlines has continuously expanding its network of cargo routes in recent years by inaugurating new direct cargo flights to Miami and Atlanta in the United States. The effort to establish a comprehensive global cargo network continues, with planning actively under way for new routes to serve the Australian and South Asian areas. This effort includes expansion of the airline's fleet of cargo aircraft, which currently numbers eight Boeing 747-200F freighters. New freighters will be delivered, including 747-400F aircraft, to bring the fleet to a total of 17 B747 freighters by 2003 and provide clients with even faster and more convenient cargo services. In the Taiwan market, CAL already enjoys a 23.41% share of export air cargo and a 26.73% share of import cargo; both figures are tops in the domestic market, far ahead of the 17% share occupied by the second-place airline. In the future, CAL will continue advancing toward its goal of a 30% share of the Taiwan market.