New Routes to 5 Japanese Cities by Major Taiwanese Carrier TransAsia Airlines

New Routes to 5 Japanese Cities by Major Taiwanese Carrier TransAsia Airlines

TransAsia Airways airplane

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In early September, Taiwanese carrier TransAsia Airways (IATA code: GE) opened five routes connecting Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei with five Japanese airports.

The new routes provide service to Naha, New Chitose, Hakodate, Asahikawa and Kushiro airports. TransAsia use Airbus A320s and A321s for daily service on the Naha route, two weekly roundtrip flights each to New Chitose and Hakodate, and one weekly roundtrip flight each to Asahikawa and Kushiro. The new routes mark a major expansion of TransAsia's network in Japan, as the airline previously had only one regular commercial route to Japan, serving Kansai Airport, which it opened in June.

One of Taiwan's major airlines, TransAsia is not a low-cost carrier (LCC), but rather a "full service carrier." The company is expanding its route network in Taiwan, the Chinese mainland and elsewhere. TransAsia operated a number of charter flights to Japan beginning in 2008, eventually flying to 31 destinations there. The latest additions to its network are part of an active expansion following the 2010 open skies accord agreed to by Japan and Taiwan in 2010.

According to an aviation industry insider, "There have been few cases of one airline simultaneously opening five routes to Japan. However, airlines from countries that conclude open skies agreements may be proactive in commencing service to multiple regional airports like this in the future."