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China Airlines has announced that non-stop flights between Taipei (TPE) and Ontario (ONT), California, will commence in Spring 2018 with four weekly services flown by Boeing 777-300ERs. Travelers now have a new option when traveling to and from California with China Airlines. Apart from the time savings on local transportation, customs and luggage waiting time, they will also be closer to the popular coastal tourism destination of San Diego. Traffic demand between the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. is forecast to grow by 6.1% per year so the new route has strong potential and should foster closer ties between Taiwan and the U.S.
China Airlines Chairman Nuan-Hsuan Ho and Ontario International Airport President Alan Wapner took part in a signing ceremony held in California on the evening of September 29, local time. Chairman Ho said that China Airlines is the first Asian carrier to introduce regular services to Ontario. This will also be the second route to offer non-stop services between Taiwan and the Greater Los Angeles region of California after China Airlines began flying to Los Angeles in 1971. Flight frequency will be increased to one flight a day during peak season depending on market demand.
Ontario Airport is close to eastern Greater Los Angeles. Local regions such as Whittier, Hacienda Heights, and Rowland Heights all have significant Chinese-speaking communities. The Ontario metropolitan area along with Riverside and San Bernadino are also known collectively as the Inland Empire. There are not only extensive freight warehouses in the area but it is also convenient for local residents as well. This translates into strong potential for the future air transport market.
According to the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), as of April 2017, travelers from Asia accounted for 32.8% of all tourists to the U.S.; statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also suggest that traffic between Asia Pacific and the U.S. is expected to grow by 6.1% p.a. over the next five years. This is higher than the global average of 4.6% so the trans-Pacific market is well worth developing. China Airlines’ current U.S. destinations include San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii and Guam. The new Taipei (TPE) – Ontario (ONT) route will offer trans-Pacific travelers with more options and greater convenience.