China Airlines has commenced services to Melbourne and Christchurch from its Taipei hub.
Flight CI57, pictured above, touched down at Christchurch Airport just before 1900 local time on Monday evening.
The Skyteam member is operating a Taipei-Melbourne-Christchurch routing three times a week with Airbus A330 aircraft. The airline will have local pickup rights on the Melbourne-Christchurch sector.
Melbourne is China Airlines’ fifth city in its Australasian network, with the new flights adding to an existing schedule featuring Taipei-Brisbane-Auckland, Taipei-Sydney-Auckland and Taipei-Sydney-Christchurch services with a combination of A330 and Boeing 747 aircraft. Some NZ services are seasonal.
Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi welcomed China Airlines president Chang Yu-Hern, who was on the inaugural flight along with a number of the board members, to Melbourne.
“Attracting new international services such as China Airlines provides exciting new opportunities for Victoria’s tourism industry, as well as strengthening our business, trade and education connections with Taiwan,” Strambi said in a statement.
China Airlines’ published timetable shows CI57 departing Taipei Taoyuan at 2230 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at Tullamarine at 1150 the next day. After about 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.