With the frequency of flights between Taipei and Tokyo set to rise in mid-April, airfares on the popular route are set to nosedive, an industry professional said last week.
"Air-ticket prices on the route could drop by about two to three thousand New Taiwan dollars sometime next month," said David Wei (
A check of online ticket prices confirmed Wei's statement.
Online travel-ticket dealer Eztravel.com.tw (
Tokyo's Narita International Airport is scheduled to open its secondary runway on April 18, increasing flight capacity by about 50 percent.
EVA Airlines Corp (
China Airlines Co's (
United Airlines will begin offering service on the Tokyo route with one new daily flight.
Northwest Airlines, in addition to daily flights between Taipei and Tokyo, will resume daily Kaohsiung-Tokyo flights in April as well.
Another industry insider said that Tokyo-bound flight demand is very strong and stable.
"Even in September and October last year, right after the Sept. 11 attacks, our Tokyo-bound flights were still jam packed," said Wang Chin (王謹), general manager of Northwest Airlines Taiwan.
Taiwanese visit Japan more than any other country in the world, with 741,767 Taiwanese heading there last year.
"That route is always profitable and all airlines want to cash in on it," Wang said.
Increased flights between Taipei and Tokyo may also be good news for tourism in Hawaii.
"Many airlines offer nonstop flights between Tokyo and Honolulu, so I expect that more Taiwanese will begin considering a trip to Hawaii," said Dave Hu (胡漢寧), a manager at Everlight.
According to Hu, with low demand and high cost, direct flights between Taipei and Honolulu on EVA Airways and China Airlines were cancelled last year.
"With less flights, the number of our Hawaii bound group travelers dropped from 3,000 customers in 2000 to 500 customers last year," Hu said.
"This year we hope to attract more than 1,500 travelers to Hawaii by bundling a Tokyo-Hawaii package," he said.