Aerospace and defence company Boeing has delivered the first of six 777 Freighters to state-owned national carrier China Airlines.

The twin-engine freighter has a range of 9,200km and a top payload capacity of 102,010kg.

Operating an all-Boeing freighter fleet, China Airlines placed the order at the 2019 Paris Air Show. It is expecting to take the delivery of five more 777 Freighters.

Boeing commercial sales and marketing senior vice-president Ihssane Mounir said: “With the global air cargo fleet expected to grow by more than 60% over the next 20 years, the unmatched efficiency of the 777 Freighter will significantly boost China Airlines’ air cargo capabilities and enable them to scale their world-class cargo operations.”

With this delivery, China Airlines officially became the 20th operator of the longest-range twin-aisle freighter.

The aircraft will enable the carrier to make fewer stops and reduce associated landing fees on long-haul routes.

The delivery is in line with the carrier’s plans to increase cargo capacity by 15% in 2021 and expected to operate the Freighter on routes between Taipei with North America.

China Airlines chairman Hsieh Su-Chien said: “Air cargo demand has risen in light of the global pandemic and has played a critical role in maintaining profitability for our airline despite the downturn in passenger traffic.

“The efficiency and capability of the 777 Freighter enables us to modernise our freighter fleet, while also allowing us to increase capacity and open into new markets. We look forward to delivering world-class service to our customers.”

In August, Boeing delivered a wide-body airliner 777 Freighter to Russian airline holding company Volga-Dnepr Group.