CAL and EVA ground 747s in desert
31 / 05 / 2012
CHINA Airlines Ltd (CAL) and EVA Airways, Taiwan’s two largest carriers, are to ground three and two of their Boeing 747s respectively in the Californian desert.
Falling cargo demand – a load factor drop from 75 per cent to below 65 per cent – has been blamed for the need of action. This will be the first time that the two carriers have had to make such a move.
How long the aircraft will be stored is not known other than that they will only return into active service when demand and the global economy picks up again.
Once they are ready to do so the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) will have to inspect them for air-worthiness. One stored for a year will require a month-long inspection.
Permission is required from the CAA to ground the planes, permission that has yet to be sought, but the CAA says that it will not obstruct the two carriers’ wishes.
CAL says that almost half of its revenues comes from its sizable fleet of 20 747s – one of the largest in the world – but Taiwan’s air cargo volume has dropped to less than 100,000 tonnes for December 2008 from 150,000 per month previously.