Air carriers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have begun to cut fares in anticipation of the imminent opening of regularly scheduled direct cross-strait flights, airline sources said yesterday.
Taiwan’s leading carriers —- China Airlines and Eva Airways —- announced new lower fares, including a Taiwan-Shanghai direct return flight for NT$14,400 ($439) on a one-month validity ticket offered by China Airlines. The fare is about 10% cheaper than the previous NT$16,250 ($492).
Eva Airways, meanwhile, is offering a NT$14,500($443) ticket for the same flight with 14 days’ validity, down from the previous NT$16,000 ($488).
Lee Long-wen, director-general of Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration, said the cross-strait passenger flights are closed air routes and a guarantee for carriers to make profits.
"The rate cuts must not be merely lip-service. The airline operators must live up to passengers’ expectations," Lee said.
Taiwan News reported China Airlines’ business has been down 30% in some recent months compared with a year earlier.
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