Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - Page 2 News List

EVA to launch services to Milan, boost Japan flights

NEW FLEET:The carrier is to take delivery of six Boeing 787 jetliners and five 777 cargo airplanes, which would allow it to expand operations and retire older aircraft

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

EVA Airways yesterday said that it plans to launch new flight services to Japan and Italy, and increase the number of flights on some existing routes this year following an increase in capacity, as well as travelers to the two countries.

EVA is this year to take delivery of six Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which would enable it to increase its number of regional flights, particularly to Japan, chairman Steve Lin (林寶水) told local media at a luncheon.

The carrier had previously announced that it would launch new flight services between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Japan’s Nagoya, Aomori and Matsuyama.

It yesterday said that more flights would also be added to existing routes, including between Taoyuan and Tokyo, Fukuoka, Sendai and the Ryukyu Islands, adding that it would use larger aircraft on some of the routes.

The airline is also assessing the possibility of launching flights between Taoyuan and Milan, Italy, Lin said, adding that it hopes to make an official announcement before the end of the year and begin services next year.

The company is optimistic about its performance this year, as long as the market maintains its growth momentum, he said.

Citing statistics from the International Air Transport Association, which has projected global air traffic demand to grow 5 to 6 percent this year, Lin said that the association has also predicted that growth in the Asia-Pacific region would be higher than the global average.

Oil prices this year are expected to be lower than last year as well, he said, adding that demand for flight services to Japan remains strong.

EVA has forecast 2 to 3 percent growth in air freight volume this year, despite market analyses showing that air shipping charges are likely to trend down, Lin said.

The company is scheduled to take delivery of five Boeing 777 cargo aircraft this year, which would help it retire Boeing 747 cargo airplanes, he said, adding that the new aircraft would be the “weapons” to help it cope with challenges in the cargo market.

An aviation pact between Taiwan and Italy signed in 2009 stipulates that each nation can dispatch seven weekly flights to and from Rome and Milan, with the government assigning two airlines to operate the flights.

China Airlines has been given the right to dispatch five flights from Taipei to Rome each week, although it currently offers only three weekly flights.

EVA initially plans to offer four weekly flights to Milan following negotiations with Italian aviation officials, executive vice president of corporate planning Albert Liao (廖志維) said.

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