The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday said the open-sky agreement between Taiwan and Japan had encouraged the nation’s airlines to offer new services to Japan, with new flights set to be listed on the summer schedule in March next year.
CAA Director-General Yin Chen-pong (尹承蓬) said that all of the nation’s airlines are now qualified to operate new flights to Japan, except for flights heading to Tokyo.
Prior to the agreement, only China Airlines and EVA Air have the rights to operate regular flights to Japan, he said.
China Airlines, Mandarin Airlines and TransAsia Airways have all applied to begin operating new flights. Yin said China Airlines had applied to have three weekly flights to Shizuoka and two weekly flights to Toyama, all of which would depart from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Mandarin Airlines has applied to have two weekly flights to Ishigakijima from Taoyuan airport, two weekly flights to Okinawa from Greater Taichung and two flights to Osaka from Greater Kaohsiung.
TransAsia had the most ambitious plan among the three carriers, with plans to launch 28 weekly flights from Taoyuan airport to eight cities in Japan.
EVA Air and Uni Air have yet to submit their applications.
Yin said the CAA would review operational plans submitted by the carriers, adding that they can start putting the flights on their summer schedules once they secure -certificates to operate the flights.
The bilateral aviation agreement sets no limit on the number of flights to Japanese cities other than Tokyo.
Both sides have also agreed to increase passenger flights to two a week and cargo flights to four a week between Taoyuan and Narita airports, as well as seven flights a week between Taoyuan and Haneda airports.
The Taoyuan-Haneda services are not restricted to passenger or cargo flights.
The CAA said the flights between Taoyuan airport and the two airports in Tokyo should be divided between CAL and EVA, two of the nation’s largest airlines.
However, TransAsia has applied to have seven passenger flights between Taoyuan and Haneda.
The administrative authority can allow no more than two airlines to offer services between Tokyo and a city in Taiwan because of stipulation in the pact.