China Airlines Ltd.: First airline to operate the advanced Boeing 767 and Airbus A300B4 widebodies simultaneously

China Airlines, based in the Republic of Taiwan, was set up by a group of retired Chinese Air Force Officers beginning with two PBY-5A Catalina flying boats and 26 employees. The company, setup in 1959, carried out military roles before acquiring  a few demilitarized C-47 and C-46 transports which was used to ferry passengers around the island. The airlines started its first international flight route to Saigon, Vietnam and catered to the Japanese tourists with flights from Japan to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The airlines grew rapidly but it lost its International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) membership in 1971 when UN recognised the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the country’s true government. The Japanese and Malaysian governments cancelled air agreements which had allowed a specific number of weekly flights between Japan and Taiwan undertaken by Japan Airlines and China Airlines. The PRC, intent on isolating Taiwan, demanded the ceasure of this agreement during negotiations for a lucrative airlink between Japan and the PRC. Japan, although keen on maintaining the agreements informally (Taiwan lost its ICAO membership),  the Japanese government degraded the agreements on the same day it signed the air transport agreement. This severance along with the 1973 oil crisis and the Vietnam war which prevented access to Vietnam stunted the growth of the airlines.

The airlines shifted to global operations in the 1970s and began international routes to the US, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea , Hong Kong and other countries in Southeast Asia. The final frontier Europe remained closed to China Airlines until 1983 when Martinair Holland agreed to establish an air link between Amsterdam and Taipei with KLM (Martinair’s parent company). With this breakthrough, the airlines could encircle the globe from Taipei to New York via Amsterdam a back to Taipei through Dubai. By 1980s, China Airlines 200 scheduled international flights per week to their international destinations.

The first Airbus A300B4-622R was delivered in 5th June 1985 and the Boeing 767-209 in 27th June 1983.

The Aerospatiale of France, CASA of Spain and the forerunners of Germany’s DaimlerChrysler Aerospace and British Aerospace formed the Airbus Industrie consortium in the late 1960s with the aim to develop a twin engined 300 seat wide body aircraft to meet the demand. The “B” suffix was added when the original 300 seat version was shrinked to a 250 seater. The A300B4 was an improvement from the initial A300 models was it incorporated Krueger flaps, increased max takeoff weight, reinforced wings and fuselage, improved landing gear and provided the option of a rear cargo bay fuel tank.

The Boeing 767 as developed as a long-range, wide-body series of airlines capable of carrying 181 to 315 passengers over a distance of 9,000 to 12,000km. The Boeing 767 was designed as a replacement for the aging 707 and resulted in a state of the art aircraft that surpassed all other aircraft of the generation in terms of efficiency and technological advances such as the improved avionics, flight management systems, instruments and handling characteristics.

References:

https://www.planespotters.net/airline/China-Airlines/historicFleet?p=2

http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/china-airlines-history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_767

Isolated States: A Comparative Analysis By Deon Geldenhuys

http://www.airliners.net/aircraft-data/airbus-a300b2b4/17

http://www.airlines-inform.com/commercial-aircraft/Boeing-767-family.html

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