Chang Kuo-wei, Chairman of Taiwan-based EVA Airways, said the carrier plans to phase out its 747-400s in three years, replacing them with 777s in both passenger and freighter configuration, bringing its total 777 fleet to thirty-five units. He also said that EVA would reduce its freighter fleet from the current fifteen units to ten.
All of which allows for some interesting speculation. EVA currently operates three 747-400Fs, six 747-400BDSFs, and three 747-400s in passenger configuration — a total of twelve. It also operates fifteen 777-300ERs and says it has seven more on order — a total of twetny-two. So, to get to the proposed total of thirty-five, EVA will have to add thirteen more 777s.
If the replacements were made on a one-to-one basis, this would mean an order for nine 777Fs and three 777-300ERs, but given Mr. Chang’s goal of thirty-five, one more unit, either pax or freighter, would have to be added.
But EVA also operates six MD-11Fs, and while Mr. Chang made no mention of them in his fleet renewal remarks, he did say that ultimately the total number of freighters would be reduced from the current fifteen to ten. So, how to get there? Retire all fifteen of the existing 747 and MD-11 freighters and acquire ten new 777Fs? Retire just the nine 747s, keep the six MD-11s, and add four 777Fs?