China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) said that is planning to resume flights to London in the fourth quarter of this year.
The airline said it plans to relaunch the Taipei-London route and provide better services to its passengers after the delivery of new Airbus A350 jets later this year.
The airline suspended the route at the end of March 2012 as the load factor remained low at no more than 60 percent.
However, after Britain in June last year voted to leave the EU, which created uncertainty over the nation’s economy and sent the British pound into a tailspin, many Taiwanese have shown an interest in visiting the UK to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate, the company said.
Online searches for tours in the UK by Taiwanese have risen by about 50 percent, according to travel Web site Skyscanner.
CAL said it has sent a delegation to London to survey the market in preparation for the relaunch.
The airline shares codes with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to transport passengers to Amsterdam and transit them to London or Manchester.
Code sharing with KLM will continue after CAL resumes direct flights to London, said Pan Yung-hao (潘允浩), a manager at CAL’s marketing division for its European operations.
CAL last year received four A350s and it is to receive six more by the end of this year.
The new aircraft will likely be used to carry passengers to London, said Peng Pao-chu (彭寶珠), a manager at CAL’s passenger flight services division.
The new planes will reduce the average age of the airline’s fleet to 3.6 years, in line with CAL’s progressive fleet revitalization strategy, the airline said.
Peng said that CAL has been engaged in talks with British aviation authorities to decide whether its planes will land at Heathrow Airport or Gatwick Airport.
Meanwhile, EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) will launch daily direct flights from Taipei to Toronto and Vancouver starting in the middle of June to meet increasing demand, the airline said on Wednesday last week.
Daily flights to Vancouver are to start on June 15 and to Toronto on June 16, the airline told a news conference in Toronto.
Taiwan and Canada have seen an increase in the number of travelers from both sides since the two nations signed a visa-free travel agreement in 2010, Representative to Canada Catherine Hsu (徐詠梅) told the news conference.
The number of Canadians visiting Taiwan surpassed 100,000 last year, up 17 percent from 2015, while 93,000 Taiwanese visited Canada last year, an increase of 31 percent from a year earlier, Hsu said.
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