EVA Air is evaluating the Boeing 777 freighter and also will consider the 787-10 passenger aircraft with the intention of placing an order, says EVA President Chang Kuo-wei.

The Taiwanese carrier originally planned to order 10 777Fs, but may end up taking as few as seven because of the current global economic uncertainty, says Chang.

EVA needs to phase out its Boeing MD-11Fs because rising fuel prices are making the three-engine aircraft uneconomical, he says. Chang was speaking to Aviation Week on the sidelines of a Star Alliance event in Taipei to announce that EVA’s application for Star membership has been accepted and the airline will formally enter the partnership in 2013.

The MD-11Fs are proving difficult to sell in the current global economic climate, says Chang, referring to how poor economic conditions hurt the global air cargo market. EVA is unlikely to be able to offload the MD-11Fs to China Cargo Airlines because that carrier has it own issues to deal with, says Chang, without elaborating. EVA is a minority shareholder in the mainland Chinese cargo airline.

Chang says once the MD-11Fs are phased out, it will look to start replacing EVA’s Boeing 747-400Fs with 777Fs. “As a 777 co-pilot, I can say the aircraft is fantastic,” he says. It makes sense for EVA’s cargo business to use 777Fs because there are synergies and economies of scale to be gained because the EVA passenger business already uses Boeing 777-300ERs, he adds.

In terms of passenger aircraft, Chang says, “Personally, I don’t feel comfortable about the Boeing 747-8 because oil prices are so high. I feel the 747-8 is an old product and the 777 is a better choice.” He says EVA has decided to order seven more 777-300ER passenger aircraft.

Chang also says, “We will consider the 787-10, but we need more information on it. We are very interested about this project.” The 787-10 is still in development and is larger than the 787-8 and 787-9.

As for narrowbodies, Chang says EVA has Airbus A321NEOs on order and plans to order six more. These aircraft will be assigned to its subsidiary, Uni Air. Chang says the A321NEOs will be deployed on routes to mainland China.