CHINA Airlines announced it will mount a direct flight from Taiwan to Cebu starting March 2020.
The maiden flight is scheduled on March 29, 2020, according to the press statement sent by GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. China Airlines will mount six flights weekly.
Using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 150 economy class and eight business seats, the airline will depart every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The airline will depart Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan at 7:40 a.m. and will arrive at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) at 10:35 a.m. It will then depart MCIA at 11:35 a.m. and will arrive in Taoyuan at 2:30 p.m.
China Airlines has joined other carriers that have recently mounted a direct flight between Cebu and Taiwan—Eva Air, Tigerair Taiwan and Philippines AirAsia.
GMCAC said that with the addition of China Airlines, weekly flights to Taipei will soon increase from 23 flights to 29 flights starting March 2020.
Foreign and local passengers will also have now more options to connect to other major international destinations as China Airlines operates about 1,400 flights weekly to 102 cities across Asia, Europe and North America.
China Airlines’ new direct service is a welcome development following Taiwan’s extension of the visa-free privilege for Filipinos until July 31, 2020. This privilege is said to be a display of Taiwan’s amity with the Philippines as the place continues to boost the travel convenience for Filipinos to visit Taiwan for leisure, business or other short-term purposes.
Since the visa extension, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau said, the Filipinos have now become Taiwan’s second biggest tourism market in Southeast Asia after Malaysia. In 2018, visitors from the Philippines to Taiwan reached 419,000, recording a 44 percent increase compared to 2017.
To celebrate the new Taipei-Cebu service, China Airlines is now offering promotional fares from Dec. 19 onwards with economy class return air fares from TWD 5,060 (approximately P8,490 as of today’s exchange rate) before taxes. / (Mae Fhel Gom-os with PR)