China Airlines first ever passenger service from Taipei to London touched down at Heathrow last night at 17.05 GMT. The new route forms an historical link between the two countries as the first time that the UK has been connected by a non-stop service to Taiwan.
Carrying 276 passengers including China Airlines Chairman Philip Wei, President Hung Hsiung Sun and distinguished VIP guests, the A340-300 aircraft arrived to a water cannon salute and official welcome from BAA senior management.
Greeting passengers, VIP guests and media in London Heathrow’s Terminal 4 prior to the return flight from London to Taipei Taoyuan Airport at 21.15, Chairman Philip Wei presided over the official flight inauguration with a ribbon and cake cutting ceremony.
Addressing the guests he said “The latest addition to the China Airlines network highlights our commitment to the UK market, and our ongoing work to strengthen Taiwan’s position as one of Asia and the Pacific’s leading aviation hubs. China Airlines is proud to play a part in promoting further growth by adding the UK as our latest destination.”
The thrice-weekly flights departing Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday will be operated with an Airbus A340-300 aircraft, with 30 seats in business class and 246 in economy.
The addition of the London route sees China Airlines serve five European destinations in Europe, with a total of 21 flights per week between Taiwan and Europe.
The non-stop service to Taiwan will also offer new connections for passengers looking to travel to onward destinations including South East Asia, North East Asia, Indonesia, Australia and mainland China.