TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China Airlines, Taiwan's leading international carrier, is reportedly planning to repaint its aircraft with Taiwan-themed images and display its name in a smaller font to avoid confusion with Chinese airlines.
The word "China" in the name of the flagship carrier has caused confusion at international destinations over the years and is often mixed up with Air China, which is owned by the Chinese government. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, China Airlines has undertaken missions to deliver Taiwan's donations of medical supplies to the world, again leading some to mistakenly associate it with China.
In July, Taiwan's legislature approved a proposal to have the Ministry of Transportation and Communications come up with a rebranding plan. However, the decision did not include a timeline for when the renaming process would take place.
The discussion was reignited Wednesday (Nov. 25) when a photo of China Airlines' alleged new aircraft was posted on the aviation website JETPhotos by user Jordan Arens. In the photo, the smaller font of "China Airlines" was seen near the tail of the plane, leaving a large empty space on the main section of its body.
When contacted by media, China Airlines explained that the aircraft in the photo is a Boeing 777 Freighter (777-F) and that it is still in the test flight phase. The company said the plane's new appearance will be revealed to the public later.
Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) confirmed the news during a press interview on Thursday (Nov. 26), saying that distinctive symbols of Taiwan will be added. He said official announcements will be made once the planes have been fully emblazoned with the new additions, reported UDN.
According to CNA, China Airlines has purchased six Boeing 777-F airliners to replace its older aircraft. These are expected to enter service as soon as the end of the year.