China Airlines will add a third Australian port to its route network from October when it starts service to Melbourne from its Taipei hub.
The Skyteam member will operate a Taipei-Melbourne-Christchurch routing three times a week with Airbus A330 aircraft, with the first flight taking off October 25. China Airlines will have local pickup rights on the Melbourne-Christchurch sector.
China Airlines general manager David Wu said the expansion to Melbourne highlighted the airline’s commitment to the Australia and New Zealand market.
“By the end of 2015 we will be serving five cities in the Australasian region, providing 14 flights a week between Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan,” Wu said in a statement.
Currently, China Airlines flies operates Taipei-Brisbane-Auckland, Taipei-Sydney-Auckland and Taipei-Sydney-Christchurch with a combination of A330 and Boeing 747 aircraft. Some NZ services are seasonal.
Melbourne Airport welcomed China Airline’s move to start service to Tullamarine, noting Taiwan was a growing market.
“This new service means that people travelling to and from Taiwan will have an easier journey as they no longer need to transit through other cities,” Melbourne Airport corporate and public affairs executive Carly Dixon said.
“Victorians will also benefit with access to China Airlines’ extensive global network, including the increasingly popular destinations of Japan and Korea, while also adding another option for travel to Christchurch.”
China Airlines’ published timetable showed CI57 is scheduled to depart Taipei Taoyuan at 2230 on Tuesdays and Sundays, arriving at Tullamarine at 1150 the next day. after 80 minutes on the ground, the flight takes off for Christchurch at 1310, landing at 1830.
The reciprocal CI58 departs Christchurch at 1950 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, arriving in Melbourne at 2140 local time. The A330 then departs for Taipei at 2310, arriving in the Taiwanese capital at 0535 the following morning.