China Airlines Commences Taipei-London (Gatwick) Route

December 5, 2017

 File photo of a China Airlines Airbus A350-900 (B-18901) in the Mikado Pheasant livery. Image courtesy of Itdccba (Flickr)


On December 1, 2017, a China Airlines Airbus A350-900 from Taiwan landed at London's Gatwick airport, becoming the first airline to offer nonstop air service between the two countries for five years. According to China Daily, the new nonstop service was hailed as a "'vital trade boost' during a 'critical time' for the United Kingdom economy," as hailed by one airport executive. 


The new route, which lasts 13 hours in duration and operates four times a week, is just China Airlines' newest foray into the international long-haul market. According to Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport's chief commercial officer, the new nonstop route will provide air service between Taipei and London during "a critical time in [England's] economy history." Despite the fact that Britain is currently pending to exit the European Union, "the new route will boost trade between our two enterprising economies and help our businesses to get goods to market as quickly and efficiently as possible," Stephenson said. 


China Airlines will operate its brand-new Airbus A350-900 aircraft on this route. It has a seating capacity of 306 passengers, in three classes of service: Business, Premium Economy, and Economy.


Personally, I think China Airlines has one of the best business class products flying right now. Laid out in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone lie-flat configuration and manufactured by B/E Aerospace (Super Diamond model), it offers lots of privacy to travelers, as well as an aesthetically pleasing design with lots of natural earth tones incorporated. 

 Image courtesy of China Airlines/Airbus. 


Premium Economy, laid out in a spacious 2-3-2 configuration, offers a large fixed-shell recliner seat that aims to provide a comfortable ride for passengers, especially on ultra-long-haul flights out of Taipei. These seats are manufactured by Zodiac Aerospace, and are of the AIRgo FX Premium Economy seat model. 

Image courtesy of China Airlines/Airbus.  


The Economy class seats are fairly similar to Finnair's, as both are based on the Zodiac Z300 model. It is laid out in a comfortable 3-3-3 configuration, and each seat offers a large 11-inch Panasonic Eco 11 monitor, with lots of on-demand movies, TV shows, and games loaded. Interestingly, some of the seats are convertible into what China Airlines calls "Family Couches," allowing for a row of three seats to be converted into a flat bed. There is an extra surcharge to reserve these seats, however, and ranges from $100-$400 each way, depending on the number of travelers. 

 Image courtesy of China Airlines/Airbus. 


Overall, I'm excited to see another airline beginning service to London, especially in a tumultous time for the British economy. I'm even more excited to see that it will be operated using brand-new, fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900 aircraft fitted with one of my favorite interiors. 


Are you booked on one of these flights between Taipei and London? 

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