EVA Airways, one of Taiwan's leading international carriers, launched direct flights between Taipei and Chicago on Wednesday in a bid to extend its reach in the North American market.
EVA said it will operate four round-trip flights a week, using one of its latest-model, Boeing 777-300ERs configured for 333 passengers.
EVA, which has more flights and seat capacity between North America and Taiwan than any other airline, said it hopes to elevate its market presence through the new service to the American city, which attracts more than 40 million travelers a year.
With more direct flight destinations, EVA can offer greater flexibility especially for transit passengers, who can now extend their journeys to and from Southeast Asia, said EVA Air Chairman Lin Pao-shui (???) during the ceremony to mark the maiden flight.
With the launch of the new route, EVA will operate 77 flights per week between Taiwan and destinations in North America, including Chicago, Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Toronto and Vancouver.
There will also be extra flights on the Taipei-Seattle route from Dec. 8, increasing weekly services from seven to 10 and total number of flights between Taiwan and North America to 80, Lin said.
According to Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), EVA's market performance in North America has been good.
In September, a slow month, for instance, load factor was more than 80 percent for Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto, while it was close to 80 percent for New York and Los Angeles, CAA data showed.
In contrast, the Taipei-Houston route, which was launched in June 2015, has a load factor of about 65 percent, according to the CAA.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel