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TransAsia Airways Business Taipei To Kansai RT 13  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14052 times:

Transasia Airways Trip Report 2013

Here is Part two of my summer trip report and I am sure most of you have never heard or heard little about TransAsia Airways (復興), which is a regional airline based in Taiwan. China Airlines and EVA Airways are better known around the world, but some local Taiwanese airline tried and tries to build a regional operation that can capture the popular tourist destinations to Korea and Japan, and to Mainland China. There are a number of local Taiwanese airlines that have always flown the domestic flights, especially the once busy Taipei Songshan (the original Taipei city airport) and Kaohsiung corridor, and to other cities like Tainan and Taichung. However with the completion of the Taiwan High Rail Service, these domestic flights always become obsolete overnight, and Taiwanese domestic operations are downscaled to flights to the Makung and Kimen, as well as a few isolated cities. These Taiwanese domestic airlines need a new way to survive, and TransAsia Airways is one of these Taiwanese airlines, who attempt to build a network of leisure destinations to Southeast Asia and most importantly, North Asia, and later, the direct cross-strait service between Taiwan and Mainland China, and also its service between Taiwan and Macau, which is one of its first international routes. TransAsia Airways has a long history in Taiwan but not as an airline, but as an agency for foreign airline, ground handling company and catering in Taiwan. Thai Airways is one of its long time clients. Domestic flights were resumed in 1988 and international airlines started at 1995. It started with a fleet of narrowbody A320s/A321s and later ATR72s, but last year, TransAsia took a bold step by purchasing two Airbus A330-300Xs to serve the busy routes to Japan, especially Hokkaido, and Southeast Asian flights like Bangkok and Singapore. I am always curious about its new A330, and despite of no mileage on major Western and even Asian airlines, its business class pricing is very reasonable, and I have decided to do a weekend trip from Taipei to Osaka Kansai flight.

I used TransAsia Airways’ own booking site for these tickets. I will admit that it is not difficult to use, while for non-Chinese speakers, it may be a slight challenge. It is not bad using Asian airlines standard, but compared to China Airlines and EVA Air, TransAsia website is just not as useful. However when I send them an email regarding seat assignment, it was answered within hours. It even sent me a link to modify my reservation. The system was set up the same way as China Airlines. However, they offer very good fares especially in business class, if you book on line. My roundtrip ticket to Osaka is around $500USD, which is not bad. But you must book it online. There are good business class fares on its A330 flights to Japan and Thailand (Singapore is being cancelled next month).

Flight information:
August 24, 2013
GE 602 TPE-KIX Lv0810 Arr1140 Airbus A330-300X B-22102

August 25, 2013
GE 601 KIX-TPE Lv1240 Arr1415 Airbus A330-300X B-22102

Taipei Taoyuan Airport:

TransAsia Airways uses Terminal One in Taipei, which has finally completed its renovation. It is very impressive and much nicer than the dated Terminal One. China Airlines is its ground-handling agent now, and it is interesting in seeing how times have changed. There are basically two major banks of flights and the morning was brutal here at Taipei. With the summer holidays, the desks are busy with two full loads of A330 flights, as well as other morning flights to other secondary Japanese destinations, Chinese and Korean cities. The first bunch of pictures was taken a few days earlier when the desks were empty, and the second bunch was taken the day of. There are major differences.

I arrived at the airport about two hours prior to departure. The check-in desks were very busy in the economy class section, but the business class section was relatively empty. However there was no agent staying there, as they went to help out the economy class section. It took me a while before I was checked in. The agent wearing a TransAsia Airways uniform looked very hassled, and unlike most Taiwanese agents, he was rather indifferent. He was still polite but looked very tired. Boarding bass and lounge invitations were given, and I was invited to go through immigration soon, as it was a very busy day here in Taoyuan airport.

Check-in at Osaka Kansai Airport
JAL was the groundling agency for TransAsia Airways in Kansai airport, and check-in took place at Aisle F. Both business and economy class lines were very busy this morning. There were many families going home and most business class passengers were checking in many bags to check-in, as well as seating and visa problems. The agents were very busy and language was a major issue here. Of course I came with more problems, as I needed the agent to check thru my bag to EVA Airways. The agent looked through files and it took her a while to finish the whole process. She apologized for taking too long and I apologized for making her doing something unusual. It was a very Asian interaction. She also told me that the flight was not full in business class and the seat next to be was blocked. It took almost thirty minutes but since there was no TransAsia staffs helping, it was about right. (But the supervisor was behind me chatting with friends!)

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14053 times:


TransAsia has its own lounge in Taipei airport, which is actually quite nice. It is not too busy and there is a proper sit down restaurant with typical Taiwanese rice, noodles, and dim sum dishes made fresh to order, as well as a nice buffet. I actually think the catering is better than EVA Air’s lounges. The quality is also comparable to China Airlines. The space is a bit smaller but it is comfortable. There are many comfortable seating area with sufficient outlets for electronic devices. There is a also a very nice wine bar but not sure if it is ever heavily used. There is a TV showing BBC. There is also an oxygen bar, which is highly unusual. However the design is quite nice for a leisure airline.

TransAsia uses KIX Air Side Lounge in Kansai, which is located at the main shopping area before the train stop. It is actually another surprisingly good airline lounge, as the JAL, ANA, and Cathay Pacific lounges at Osaka are really bad with limited seating area and catering. This lounge actually has some sushi pastries, hot soups, and more substantial food than other lounges. I love the grapefruit jelly. The staffs were polite and helpful. The décor was modern and relaxing. I love the view over the apron and R/W24L/6R. They also have their own bathrooms. Air France, KLM, Air Calin, China Airlines, and TransAsia Airways use this lounge.

Grapefruit Jelly – lovely

Nice storage spaces for cabin bags

User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14053 times:

Taipei – Gate A4 was used this morning – B-22102 was already at the gate when I arrived. The inbound flight from Singapore arrived on time. I saw it landing around 5:30am from my Novotel hotel room. But TransAsia really uses its two A330s heavily, with at least two daily rotations – morning to Japan and afternoon to Thailand/Singapore (and SIN flight was a redeye return too).

Kansai – Gate S37 was used today
The inbound arrived a bit late today due to weather.

Air Calin A330 Next Door – maybe one day I will fly this…

Boarding began slightly late at 7:46am. Things were very busy at Taoyuan airport this morning. There was a separate business-class boarding lane. TransAsia also has its own elite members too. A very handsome and friendly flight attendant immediately welcomed me on board and showed me my way to my seat, 2A. He was pretty good-looking and younger than the average F/As on China Airlines and EVA Airways. In general, the F/As on TransAsia Airways are a bit younger than the major Taiwanese carriers. They can feel that they try very hard. They are not as polished and at least they tried. I have heard mixed reviews of GE F/As, but I presume those working the A330-300s will be the prime of the crop. They just need more polishing and experiences. Instead of the usual tray of OJ/water, you can order your choice of pre-takeoff beverage like most US carriers, and hot towels were passed out in a lacquered tray. TransAsia Airways really tries to up the game.

My choice of beverage – water and cold towel in a lacquered tray

For the return flight, boarding started at 12:33pm, as the inbound was late. I could only verify that GE has return catering, but a full cleaning crew was seen going onboard. The crews were still young but the service was not as good as the flight coming to Kansai. They were a bit slower and less organized, as it took the whole two hours to serve a two-third full business class cabin (21 passengers). The male F/A in the J cabin is okay looking but not as good as the flight coming over. At least he was more polite than the other girls, who looked very stressed. Anyway, the same pre-takeoff beverage and towels were offered, along with newspapers. I presume they just need to build up the experiences, as this A330 operation has only been happening for less than a year. I will give them credits for trying.

Champagne on the return flight:

I really need to give TransAsia credit for serving the hot towels in a fancier way

Flight information:
From Taipei to Osaka, the flight was running on time. Boarding was completed at 8:02am. Yes a full Airbus A330-300 was fully boarded in sixteen minutes, and we pushed back three minutes later. However there was some cargo traffic this morning, and after a few EVA Air and China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400s took off, we made our turn at R/W23R and lifted off at 8:19am. Flying time was two hours and nineteen minutes. Our routing took us towards the South China Sea, as we climbed to 41,000feet. We passed Kuroshima Islands, Ibusuki, Kanoya, Nichinan, Tosashimizu, Tosay Bay, Tokushima Airport, and Sumoto. Descent began at 11:03am Japanese local time, and we landed on R/W24R at 11:38am. We parked at gate 37 in the South Concourse at 11:45am.

The return flight went a bit late, as the inbound did not park at gate till 12:07pm. Boarding finally began at 12:33pm and there was a separate business and economy class line. Everyone was pretty much queuing in order, so boarding was completed quickly. The load was a bit lighter but still busy in economy cabin. Door was closed at 12:48pm, and after an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER HL7597 took off, we lifted off from R/W24L at 1:05pm. Flying time was two hours and eleven minutes with a cruising attitude of 40,000feet. The flight took us over Higashikagawa, Mima, Tosa, Hyuga, Kagoshima and Osumi Islands before heading towards Taipei. Descent began at 2:48pm Taiwan local time, and we landed on R/W23L at 2:16pm and parked at gate B4 at 2:21pm.

TransAsia really invests in the business class products for these two A330s. Given they served mostly short and medium haul flights. They use the exact same seat as Singapore Airlines’ regional business class cabin. However SQ is a bit more generous in the legroom. I presume if GE goes long haul, it can easily modify the cabin.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14047 times:

There are four pre-set seating positions:
Takeoff and Upright

Semi Recline Position

Lounging Position

Lie Flat Position – it is almost 180 degrees full flat

Individual features of the seats:
Back of the seats – Personal Television, magazine pockets, and two light closet spaces

More storage spaces on the main armrests

Power Outlet and USB port

Seat Control Panel – there were four preset stations and then you can adjust the seat individually

Bottled water holders

Divider between seats – more reading lights

Magazine pocket
TransAsia Airway has a safety card, in-flight magazine, duty free shop and vomit bag

User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14047 times:


This is one thing that I actually care about. There are printed menus and TransAsia creates a “Dining Room” concept for its business class product. The service trays, glassware and chinaware are very modern and stylish.

I love the champagne flute.

Normal beverage glasses – at least it is not like a tiny glass used by many Asian airlines. Just the right size for cold beverages, which are on high demands on all these flights to Southeast Asia!

Cup for hot beverages

TransAsia catering is a long established company in Taiwan, and the quality of the food is pretty good. But I found the breakfast especially the Chinese sets a bit on the small side. Congee is a light dish and you really need a bit more sides. For a two hours flight, one tray meal is good, and the tray does not remind me of economy class, but the portion size needs to be larger for the Chinese set, or they should add more dim sum components, or serve a heavier noodle soup or noodle dish. For the return flight, it is better. Return catering for sure – however, the octopus appetizer tastes pretty bad. It should stick with more commonly known. I had the hamburger steak entrée, which was good. I love the warmed bread rolls and garlic bread. Dessert was served separately and featured a more Japanese theme – Japanese persimmon filled with red bean paste along with nougat candies.

Here is the full beverage and wine list:
Beverage list
Remy Martin VSOP
Camus X.O.
Glenfiddich 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Bombay Sapphire Gin
Eristoff Vodka

Jean Milan Brut Tradition

Pinot Grigio “Ben Glaetzer” Heartland, Langhorne Creek South Australia
Sauvignon Blanc Kim Crawfod, Marlborough New Zealand

Cabernet Sauvignon McWilliams Hanwood Estate South Australia
Shiraz Grenache Rolf Binder, Halliwell Barossa Valley South Australia

Taiwan Beer

Sparkling Mineral Water
Natural Mineral Water

Oolong Tea
Green Tea
Black Tea

Soft Drinks
Orange Juice
Apple Juice
Tomato Juice
Coca Cola
Diet Coca Cola
Ginger Ale
Soda Water
Tonic Water

Here are the menus:
GE 602 Taipei to Osaka Kansai

Business Class “The Dining Room”
“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” Mark Twain

Fresh Tropical Fruit
Cranberry Yogurt
(Only for Western set)

Congee with Preserved Egg and Meat
Four Condiments
Pan Fried Turnip Cake

Scrambled Egg & Cheese Sausage
Baked Tomato, sautéed potato with parsley, Cheese Sausage

BC_SM_BF1_02 |Business Class

GE 601 Osaka Kansai to Taipei

Business Class “The Dining Room”
“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” Mark Twain

Octopus with Chili sauce

Roasted Chicken Thigh with Sweet Chili Sauce
Hamburger Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup



BC_SM_LD2_02| Business Class

Entertainment System
TransAsia Airways offers noise-canceling headsets for all J passengers – of course a local brand. (There are also slippers for everyone!)
Personal television entertainment – there are many movies and television shows, and of course, there are more than enough selection given how short most of their flights are. They are also a bit more Chinese/Taiwanese oriented, but there are the typical Hollywood movies and television shows like “Glee” and “Big Bang Theory.” Everything is on demand. There is the Sky Map function too, but it does not show any attitude and speed information.


View of the plane prior to arrival – very cloudy day at Kansai Airport

Pre-landing nougat candies

TransAsia Airways A330-300X at KIX

China Airlines Boeing 747-400 B-18203 Specially-painted

Arrival into Taipei

I am pretty impressed with TransAsia Airways, and the new A330s are very comfortable in the business class cabin. The F/As are younger and as I mentioned before, they still need a bit more experience. There was no trolley service so everything was delivered from the galley. It took quite a bit of organizations to carry out the whole service. There are three F/As serving the business class cabin – two serving each aisle and then one serving in the galley. I still think more filling meals should be offered. Unfortunately, they are not linked up with any major Taiwanese airlines in terms of mileage accruals. But if you ever need a connector, TransAsia may be a good airline to think about.


User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1241 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 13551 times:

Hi Carfield - nice report! I've been wondering when the first Transasia A330 report was going to be posted. I was living in Taiwan when GE was just a prop airline (ATRs) and when they got their first A320. I know looks like a big step again with the new A330s and the Biz cabin looks very nice indeed. I wish them luck in carving out a market for themselves now that most of their historical bread and butter domestic routes have vanished.

Thanks again. Palmjet

Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineCdnCactus From Canada, joined Mar 2013, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 13187 times:

Yes!! Can't believe I'd actually read a trip report on TransAsia. Their purchase of A330s piqued my interest and when I saw the birds in the new livery, I was dying to get on one. It wouldn't be an easy battle for customers against CI and BR on regional routes, but I wish them all the best.

Next year I'm hoping I can take this to Singapore...then Scoot back (yes I know how some a.netters feel about Scoot, but I haven't tried it yet!)

User currently offlinecelestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 531 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 12739 times:

Great report! Enjoy reading it.

Quoting CdnCactus (Reply 6):

Sorry to inform you, Transasia will terminate their flight to Singapore from Taipei soon! Citing stiff competition on LCC.
I seen their A330 numerous time at CKS airport. Very nice livery indeed.

The business class seat in leather, emmm, that should be interesting and hoping it is leather instead of leatherette.
My butt got hot on non-leather seat easily!

User currently offlineCdnCactus From Canada, joined Mar 2013, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 12672 times:

Quoting celestar (Reply 7):
Sorry to inform you, Transasia will terminate their flight to Singapore from Taipei soon! Citing stiff competition on LCC.

Oh for crying out loud.

Well, any interesting recommendations from you frequent Asia travellers for going to Singapore from Taiwan? Other than CI BR CX SQ (been there done that).   

The TransAsia A330 better still be there next year...have to figure out where to go with it. A quick trip to Japan may also be in order but I was hoping to Peach it there when that gets underway. (more thanks to Carfield for his Japan LCC report!)

User currently offlineQantasAirways From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1280 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 12635 times:

Nice report! I remember flying GE between TPE and Macau in 2000 (13 years ago!) on the way to China, when you had to stop over in either Hong Kong or Macau. They were a pretty decent regional airline with good catering and service.

Spirit of Australia
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1539 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 12582 times:


Thank you for very detailed report. The TA service looks just right.

Thx for shearing, Jonathan

every day is a good day to fly
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2874 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days ago) and read 12281 times:

Nice TR from such "exotic" carrier...

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
There is the Sky Map function too, but it does not show any attitude and speed information.

What "attitude" do you expect from the Sky Map?  

User currently offlinetommy525 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 11934 times:

I am pretty sure he meant ALTITUDE.

Why is that I wonder? Its nice to know how high we are and how fast we are going.

User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 11921 times:

Sorry about typo - I meant Altitude...

Yes TransAsia Airways is a great regional airline and I am curious on where GE is going to use the fleet. I am wondering if they plan to one of the A330s during the afternoon hours and can't imagine GE will have them sitting in the tarmac after the plane came back from Hokkaido in the early afternoon. Singapore is a very tough market and the redeye return from SIN to TPE is not too overly desirable. Maybe another afternoon rotation to Japan and Korea... Those are heavy Taiwanese leisure population.

Thanks for all the kind comments again!


User currently offlineSchweigend From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 758 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 11645 times:

Thanks for your effort in producing an excellent trip report. Nice photos captured everything very well.

I'd never heard about TransAsia until now. Thanks also for the pics of the TPE airport terminal. I might visit Taipei on UA's SFO service soon.

The lounge seemed very pleasant. Were they purpose-built for TransAsia, or was it a shared lounge?

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
Octopus with Chili sauce

Well, that's the only thing I wouldn't want -- a baby octopus in my salad!

Cheers and warmest regards,


User currently offlinecelestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 531 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 11306 times:

It does appear that with the casino open, the traffic between Taiwan and Singapore starts to grow a lot.
Well, I am not sure what more exciting airlines there is between the two cities, except the BR, CI, SQ and a couples of LCC. I did this route two weeks ago with my family for a one week vacation in Singapore.
We choose to fly business on CX and that is a lot cheaper than BR business!
Well, the downside was our outbound journey was affected by a typhoon sweeping through Hainan area but somehow HK was badly affected. Simply can't forget my most scary landing at HK, the pilots of the CX A330, continue to brave strong and random wind during decent and we have numerous up and down during the decent. Interesting enough to hear the RR engine repeatedly being spool up and off to combat the lift generated and maintain the descent slope. Come to think about it, it is more scary than the roller coaster ride we had in Singapore's Universal Studio!

User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 11295 times:

Thanks for the kind comments!

The lounge belongs to TransAsia exclusively. It has many flights to regional destinations everyday and the size of the lounge is about right. Thai Airways, a long time client for TransAsia, has its own lounge in Taipei, which is not surprisingly located next door. They possibly shares the same basic catering. However given how TransAsia is expanding, this lounge is definitely its flagship lounge for now.

Yes, the weather in HK has been quite rough for the past few weeks. There were two known incidents just this week (Hong Kong Airlines A320 hit turbulence on a flight from Phuket to HKG and TG A380 hit turbulence also during descent).

Anyway, CX pilots are generally very experienced! They won't risk it if the weather is really bad.


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 1 hour ago) and read 10886 times:


Interesting read about Transasia.
They look lto be agood airline, I'm amazed by the quality of the catering and the similar to SQ seating.
Hope to read more about them.
I like the TPE design as well


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinewroord From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10662 times:

Hi Carfield,
Another great and very detailed report - thank you! I flew with GE from TSA to HUN last year, but it was on their ATR72. The service was great for such a short flight and everything was on time. I was wondering how different their A330 service was, so great job on the details.
I do like their logo and I think it looks great even on their drink glasses. The seats look very comfy.

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