Air France resumes Taipei-Paris route after 20-year hiatus

2018/04/17 19:58:12 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Air France resumes Taipei-Paris route after 20-year hiatus

Taipei, April 17 (CNA) Air France restarted flights on the Taipei-Paris route on Monday after a break of 20 years, offering three flights per week under a codeshare agreement with China Airlines, one of Taiwan's major carriers.

The flights will operate between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Charles de Gaulle Airport.

"We are very pleased to be launching services to Taipei as a new Air France destination on departure from Paris," Antoine Pussiau, senior vice president Asia Pacific of Air France-KLM, said at a press conference in Taipei.

"This illustrates the strong commitment of the Air France-KLM group to support the development of exchange between Asia and Europe," he said.

Pussiau said he is very confident that the flights will attract both business and leisure travelers as Taipei is the only Asian destination Air France has added to its network this year.

He said KLM, which has been operating in Taiwan over the past 35 years, has been well-received by Taiwanese passengers and that the new Air France service will create a niche, allowing travelers to conveniently tour Europe via Paris and Amsterdam.

On the other end, an increasing number of European tourists are looking for new travel destinations in Asia, which suggests an emerging market potential in Taiwan, he said.

Air France, which last operated on the Taipei-Paris route 20 years ago, is likely to face major competition from EVA Airways, a Taiwanese airline that offers daily non-stop flights on the route.

However, Air France is not ruling out the possibility of increasing its services on the route, which will begin with three flights per week, according to executives in the Air France-KLM Group.

Using its Boeing 777-200 planes, Air France will depart every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 10:25 a.m. from Taipei and arrive in Paris at 6:20 p.m.

On the return leg, the flights will depart from Paris on Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 1:35 p.m. and arrive in Taipei at 8:15 a.m. the next day.

Steve Chang (張志潔), senior vice president of CAL, said the market response to the new Taipei-Paris air link has been positive, with bookings at 80 percent capacity, which is likely to remain the year-round average.

The direct flights will expand market demand and foster closer links between France and Taiwan, according to CAL. Citing the International Air Transport Association, CAL said Paris was one of the top three European destinations for Taiwanese travelers in 2017.

CAL said the codeshare flights will also strengthen the scope and competitiveness of its European products as, like Air France, it is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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