China Airlines and Air France have begun operating direct flights between Taipei and Paris from April 16 on a codeshare basis. The route will be flown by Air France with three flights a week. For the first time ever, China Airlines and Air France are code sharing to bring Taiwan and France closer together by connecting their respective hub airports. A special promotion is now being offered through the China Airlines website to celebrate the launch of the new service. Taipei-Paris Economy Class return air fares are available from TWD 18,000 before tax to provide travelers with a greater range of options.
The inaugural flight from Paris to Taipei arrived at Taoyuan International Airport at 8:15AM on April 17. China Airlines President Su-Chien Hsieh along with Air France KLM Senior Vice President Asia Pacific Antoine Pussiau, Air France KLM Senior Vice President Alliances Patrick Roux, Taoyuan City Mayor Wen-tsan Cheng, Bureau Francais de Taipei Director Benoit Guidee and Taoyuan International Airport Corporation Chairman Dar-Jen Tseng were on hand at the launch ceremony to witness the historic moment.
China Airlines has long striven to build a more comprehensive network. In addition to the opening of new routes and destinations, China Airlines also worked actively with SkyTeam member airlines and other carriers to create demand for travel and cargo. As the leader of Taiwan's airline industry, China Airlines plays an important role in providing transportation services between Taiwan and France. For this latest foray by Air France into the Taiwan market, China Airlines will serve as its most powerful and capable local partner. The direct flights will expand market demand and continue to foster closer links between France and Taiwan.
China Airlines became a member of SkyTeam in 2011 to extend its quality services worldwide. Code sharing with other SkyTeam members help connect Taiwan with the rest of the world. In addition to the Taipei-Paris route, China Airlines and Air France have partnered to offer extensions to Amsterdam and Frankfurt. China Airlines is also making its Taipei-Sydney and Taipei-Melbourne routes available to Air France on a code sharing basis, a move that will provide travelers between Europe and Asia with high-quality products and services that offer greater flexibility and convenience.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Paris was the top city among the top three destinations for Taiwanese passengers traveling to Europe in 2017; such is the attraction of the capital of fashion that Paris also topped the "Top 10 Travel Destinations" survey conducted by a well-known hotel booking website. China Airlines has progressively introduced ten 777 and fourteen A350 new aircraft in recent years. No other carrier operates direct flights to so many destinations between Taiwan and Europe, including exclusive non-stop flights to Frankfurt in Germany and Rome in Italy, as well as direct flights to London in U.K., Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Vienna in Austria. As Air France is an important China Airlines partner, the codeshare flights will strengthen the scope and competitiveness of China Airlines' European products.