EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s second-largest airline, yesterday revealed plans to increase flights on various North American routes starting in the middle of the year.
The carrier is to boost the weekly number of flights on routes to New York from five to seven in June, while increasing the amount of flights on routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco to 21 and 14 a week from 18 and 12 respectively.
By the end of the year, the airline also aims to increase the number of flights to Canada’s Toronto and Vancouver to four from three.
“The move is geared toward boosting passenger capacity on the company’s routes to the US by 20 percent by the end of this year,” EVA Airways president Austin Cheng (鄭傳義) told reporters.
Cheng made the remarks after the carrier’s subsidiary, Uni Airways (立榮航空), launched a new route between Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport in China yesterday.
Cheng said that EVA’s routes to the US have an average passenger load factor of between 85 and 90 percent, with transit passengers, business travelers and people visiting relatives comprising the majority of its clientele.
In addition to increasing the frequency of flights to its North American destinations, the company is also set to have three new Boeing Co 777-300ER aircraft flying the routes next quarter, Cheng said.
Strong, steady demand for tickets to North America is expected to help support the airline’s overall sales, since ticket sales for destinations in that region accounted for approximately 37 percent of EVA’s passenger business revenue and about 20 percent of its overall sales.
Cheng said he maintained an upbeat outlook on the company’s passenger business this year, saying that he expects the carrier to see its passenger load rise by 10 percent during the five-day Lunar New Year holiday, which falls between later this month and next month.
EVA posted NT$113.83 billion (US$3.75 billion) in consolidated sales in the first 11 months of last year, up 6.3 percent from a year earlier.