Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 12 News List

EVA Air planning to buy 20 planes to meet China demand

AFP, TAIPEI

EVA Airways (長榮航空) plans to buy 20 passenger planes to meet robust demand from China, local media cited company president Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) as saying yesterday. The remarks came after the airline added three Chinese cities — Zhengzhou, Jinan and Ningbo — to boost its total weekly flights to China to 77, covering 17 destinations.

“Our capabilities are still unable to meet the strong demand for flight services between Taiwan and China,” Chang told reporters, according to the state-funded Central News Agency.

“Looking ahead, EVA Air is considering purchasing more narrow-bodied passenger planes, like A321 ... to replace the existing MD planes,” he said, without giving a timeframe.

The company now operates 56 aircraft, including eight McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighters and six MD-90s.

Taiwan and China launched direct charter flights in 2008 and scheduled flights in 2009, reflecting warming ties since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008.

Previously, flights had to go via a third point, usually Hong Kong or Macau, adding to journey times and costs.

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