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EVA Air to spend over US$600 million upgrading 14 aircraft, buying engines

12/20/2023 05:15 PM
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Photo courtesy of EVA Airways
Photo courtesy of EVA Airways

Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) EVA Airways (EVA Air), one of Taiwan's leading international carriers, will spend more than US$600 million upgrading 14 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and buying engines, in a bid to give it a competitive edge in the global market.

In an announcement posted on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) on Tuesday, where EVA Air shares are traded, the carrier said it will spend up to US$354 million on the upgrade, which will begin in 2026 and involve making improvements to 14 Boeing 777-300ER passenger planes that are less than 10 years old.

The work will include improving cabin seats, in-flight entertainment systems, and the wider cabin environment, EVA Air said.

EVA Air will also add seats to its 'Royal Laurel' business class product to meet increasing demand, the carrier said.

The plan also includes purchasing five Trent XWB97 engines from Rolls-Royce PLC worth of US$282 million for maintenance purposes, the carrier said.

EVA Air announced plans in November to buy 18 Airbus A350-1000 widebody craft and to option another six, with deliveries set to take place from 2026-2030, and to buy 15 A321neo narrow body craft, with deliveries scheduled for 2029-2032.

The introduction of the 33 new planes is expected to cost EVA Air about US$10.1 billion, marking the carrier's largest purchase deal.

EVA Air said the A350-1000 is the new Airbus long-haul passenger plane for flights around 8,000 nautical miles long and is expected to mainly be deployed on services to and from North America.

EVA Air said the A321neo, which is an upgraded version of the A321-200 model currently in its fleet, is the most popular narrow-body passenger aircraft for short to mid-range flights in the international airline business.

Currently, EVA Air has a fleet of 86 planes with the deliveries of 4 new Boeing 787-10 passenger aircraft, nine new Boeing 787-9 passenger planes, and one new Boeing 777F cargo plane scheduled to be completed by 2027.

The airline posted NT$5.96 billion (US$190 million) in net profit in the third quarter, up sharply from the NT$1.24 billion posted in the same period last year, with earnings per share (EPS) at NT$1.10, up from NT$0.23 a year earlier.

EVA Air generated NT$37.74 billion of revenue from its passenger flight operations in the third quarter, up 285.4 percent from a year earlier, while sales from cargo flights fell 54.3 percent to NT$9.695 billion following weakening global demand.

EVA Air's net profit hit a new high of NT$16.4 billion in the first nine months of this year, up from NT$6.39 billion a year earlier, with EPS at NT$3.05, compared with NT$1.20 a year earlier.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)

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