China Airlines Looks To Sell Airbus A350s For Leaseback

Taiwanese national flag carrier China Airlines is looking to sell two Airbus A350-900s for leaseback. The news out today comes after the Taipei Taoyuan International Airport-headquartered airline agreed to sell and leaseback five Airbus A330-300s earlier in May.

China Airlines Looks To Sell Airbus A350s For Leaseback
China Airlines has 14 Airbus A350-900s Photo: Airbus

According to FlightGlobal, the deadline for receiving bids on the widebodies is June 1.

FlightGlobal reports that one of the sources who received China Airlines’ request for proposal (RFP) said that the airline is seeking an average lease term of 144 months. While not mentioning the aircraft in question, it is believed that they were both manufactured in 2017.

China Airlines is seen as having good credit

In total, according to FlightGlobal, there are two sources. When responding to the invitation to submit a bid, one of the unnamed sources said that his airline was not interested in acquiring the aircraft.

“We are not so bullish on widebody aircraft at the moment. We have got quite a lot in our fleet already,” they said while noting that a Boeing 737 MAX or an Airbus A320neo RFP would perhaps prove to be more enticing.

The second source who happens to be a banker invited to provide financing for the lease said that he looks upon China Airlines as having excellent credit.

China Airlines has 14 Airbus A350-900s

This comes amidst the uncertainty in the airline industry as it tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. While saying China Airlines has a good credit standing, the bank he works for is yet to decide on whether or not to participate in the RFP.

“I think they are doing okay because their freighter business is good and they are still doing some business to mainland China,” the banker said, adding, “I think a lot of people would be very interested, despite China Airlines losing money.”

China airlines getty
China Airlines was established in 1959. Photo: Getty Images

According to data compiled by aviation website, China Airlines has 14 A350-900s delivered by the European planemaker between 2016 and 2018. The Taiwanese carrier also holds an option with Airbus for a further six A350-900s.

China Airlines is thinking about a name change

In other news related to Taiwan’s largest airline, CNN reported a few days ago that China Airlines was thinking about a name change because people would associate the airline with mainland China rather than Taiwan. This is all due to the coronavirus and the Taiwanese nation wishing not to be so closely associated with China.

“Recently, the public has expressed various diverse and lively opinions on the company,” the airline said a statement issued to CNN Travel. “Due to the wide range of issues involved, the company has started internal discussions and research with an open attitude.”

A321 China Airlines
Some airlines might be interested in should China Airlines want to lease an Airbus A320neo. Photo: Airbus

China Airlines serves 160 destinations in 29 countries. The SkyTeam Alliance member is owned by the China Aviation Development Foundation, which is owned by Taiwan’s government.

What do you think of China Airlines trying to lease two of its A350s, and do you think a name change is a good idea? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.