China Airlines Expands European Route Network
Prague will become the sixth destination in China Airlines' European network this summer when the Taiwanese carrier launches a new route from Taipei Taoyuan (TPE).
Flights to the Czech capital will start on July 18, operating twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The route will use Airbus A350 aircraft, configured with 32 business class seats, 31 in premium economy and 243 in economy.
“China Airlines has a positive outlook on post-pandemic travel recovery,” the airline says in a statement. “The number of people traveling to Europe has been growing steadily in recent years with the eastern European market seeing the most growth.”
China Airlines already serves five destinations in Europe, flying to daily to Frankfurt and four times per week to Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Vienna. The SkyTeam alliance member also provides one weekly round trip to Rome Fiumicino, rising to 3X-weekly at the end of March.
“With business and travel demand both growing steadily throughout the Asia-Pacific, eastern Europe offers a market with great potential and China Airlines will continue to compete in the transfer market,” the airline adds.
Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that China Airlines will become the sole operator of nonstop service between Taiwan and the Czech Republic. Prague previously had connections to mainland China before the pandemic—to Beijing Capital, Chengdu, Shanghai Pudong and Xi'an Xianyang—but those destinations remain suspended for now.
Taiwan-Czech Republic O&D traffic totaled 26,200 two-way passengers in 2019, according to Sabre Market Intelligence figures, a rise of 22% on the previous 12 months. In the absence of nonstop service, all traffic was indirect with about 29% of passengers flying one-stop via Dubai. Shanghai was the second largest connecting market, followed by Istanbul.
Overall weekly capacity between Taiwan and Europe currently stands at about 27,400 two-way seats. China Airlines has a 45% capacity share of the market, with EVA Air on 38% and Turkish Airlines on 17%.
China Airlines handled 574,002 passengers in February 2023, down by almost 50% on 2019 levels, with a load factor of 72%. New routes launched already this year include 4X-weekly services to Chiang Mai in Thailand and Da Nang in Vietnam, which hosted Routes Asia in 2023 and 2022 respectively.