December 13, 2008, Taipei, Taiwan – China Airlines will inaugurate direct cross-strait cargo charter flights to Shanghai on December 17, and to Guangzhou on December 18. Following the inaugural flights, CAL will offer eight round-trip cargo flights to Shanghai and seven round-trip flights to Guangzhou each month. A Boeing 747-400F freighter will be used on the new routes, and the historic first flight to Shanghai will deliver a payload of electrical products and fresh fruits.
In addition, China Airlines has signed an Agreement of Cooperation with China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Airlines to swap cargo space, a move that will provide more choices and greater convenience for cargo customers. CAL has also become the first carrier to sign a postal delivery contract with Chunghwa Post Co. to carry daily mail and postal goods to China on both passenger and freight charter flights.
The new cargo flights mark another historic step for CAL, which has established several milestones in direct cross-strait cargo shipments, including previous flights in 2006 and 2007, and the first-ever cross-strait humanitarian charter, a flight to Chengdu in Sichuan province in 2008.
The maiden cargo charter flight to Shanghai, CI-5897, will depart from Taoyuan International Airport at 23:30 on December 17, and arrive in Shanghai at 01:00 on December 18, for a total flight time of one hour and thirty minutes. The return flight, CI-5898, will depart from Shanghai at 03:00 in the morning and arrive in Taoyuan at 04:30.
The first cargo flight to Guangzhou, CI-5895, will depart from Taoyuan at 18:30 on December 18, and arrive in Guangzhou at 20:20 on the same day, with a flight time of one hour and fifty minutes. The return flight, CI-5896, will leave from Guangzhou at 22:30 on the same day, and arrive in Taoyuan at 00:20 on December 19.
China Airlines operates a modern fleet of 67 aircraft, with an average age of just 6 years. The fleet includes 47 passenger jets and 20 B747-400F freighters, which serve 73 destinations in 26 countries. According to IATA statistics, CAL is ranked 6th in the world in terms of international air cargo traffic. It operates the largest B747-400F freighter fleet in the world, and it has earned the trust of its cargo customers by establishing a sterling reputation for prompt and reliable cargo service. China Airlines continues to work with its cargo customers to help increase efficiency, reduce costs and save time.