With the US opening up to travel, demand in Taiwan for US-bound flights has soared, pushing up ticket prices to most destinations in North America, tourism sources said.
Fares for destinations in the US have risen dramatically since the middle of last month, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming months, as California on Tuesday lifted most social distancing and capacity limits put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19, ezTravel Co (易遊網) said in a statement yesterday.
The travel agency forecast that the number of tickets sold this month is likely to be double or triple the number sold last month, with tickets to San Francisco and Los Angeles in greatest demand.
To meet that demand, major carriers have increased their Taiwan-US flights, it said.
Since Monday last week, EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) has been operating daily flights between Taoyuan and Los Angeles, up from three per week previously.
From July 1 to July 18, flights to Seattle, Washington, are to be increased to four per week, from two per week this month, while one more flight per week is to be added for travel to San Francisco and Vancouver, Canada, it said.
Round-trip fares for EVA flights to Los Angeles departing later this month or early next month are more than NT$70,000 for economy class, NT$90,000 for premium economy and more than NT$220,000 for business class, according to ezTravel’s Web site.
All of those fares are at least 50 percent higher than the prices offered by EVA prior to the pandemic.
China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), which on April 29 significantly cut back its flights after several of its pilots came down with COVID-19, has also said it would add flights to Los Angeles on Tuesday and Thursday next week and on June 29, and two more flights each next month and in August to Ontario, California.
From this month, China Airlines fares for flights between Taiwan and the US cost at least US$68,000 in economy class and about NT$230,000 in business class, Taipei-based Lion Travel Service Co (雄獅旅遊) said.
People who have booked tickets for the US generally fall into one of five groups: those who have a US passport, those who have a green card, those who are going to study in the US, the affluent, and foreign nationals residing in Taiwan, a Lion Travel executive said.
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