China Airlines, the first direct link between Delhi and Taipei offering thrice-a-week flights, will give the shortest connectivity to the west coast of the United States, Canada and Japan, while bringing in large number of people from Taiwan to the Buddhist circuit here.
The 265-seater Airbus A300-600R flight, which will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, is a direct result of the success of the charter services between India and Taiwan throughout the year 2000 till the beginning of last year, airline officials said at a press conference here on Friday.
“The airline is expecting a passenger load factor of around 80 per cent in the first year of operations from here to Taipei and onwards,” Mr Brian Chou, senior vice-president marketing, China Airlines said.
He further said those travelling out of India on China Airlines will get a one-stop service to Vancouver in 19 hours, less than 22 hours to Los Angeles and 11 hours to Tokyo with a minimum stopover in Taipei.
The duration of the Delhi-Taipei flight will be a little over six hours.
Without elaborating on the fares, he said that promotional fares had been introduced and are “very competitive”.
The airline will not overfly China, he added.
The airline will be targeting Buddhist pilgrims wanting to visit India from Taiwan. Last year 15,000 had come to India and the airline was hoping that this will increase in leaps and bounds because of the daily service.
Mr Chou said the 42-year old airline would first develop the service to Delhi into a daily one and then look at other destinations in India.
“We have high expectations from this market. With India, now on our destination chart, we are expecting on an average a system-wide revenue contribution of $1.6 million in a month,” he said.
China Airlines is also hoping to resume its freighter service to India in the near future. It had brought cargo planes to India between November 1999 and September 2001.