LondonCity
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China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:32 pm

Looks as though China Airlines will no longer fly into London after the end of March. The Taiwanese airline initially started the TPE-LHR service with a three times a week frequency which was later cut to two flights a week.

Seems that operating such a long non-stop route has not proved profitable when stacked up against CX's numerous connections via HKG and Eva Air's competing direct service from LHR to TPE which touches down in BKK.

I believe CAL has only be on the London route for not much more than a year.


http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...hina-airlines-to-drop-london-route
 
fcogafa
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China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:41 pm

The UK-far east is unpredictable, on one hand you have Thai downsizing LHR to A340s and Dynasty maybe leaving, plus whatecer Air Asia X decides to do but then Korean and Air China are adding services to Gatwick!

I would still put a bet on Air Vietnam not lasting the year out at Gatwick though....
 
as739x
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China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:48 pm

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 1):

I'm assuming you mean Vietnam Airlines?
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LondonCity
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China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:53 pm

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 1):
plus whatecer Air Asia X decides to do

Yes, the situation re Air Asia X is strange. Have you seen what this carrier is charging for LGW-KUL return from the end of March ? There is a substantial fares increase.

For once, we can't say that CAL's poor performance on the London route is down to competition from the Gulf airlines because none of them serve TPE.
 
MaverickM11
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China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:54 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 3):
For once, we can't say that CAL's poor performance on the London route is down to competition from the Gulf airlines because none of them serve TPE.

There's next to nowhere to flow traffic beyond in either direction, either over LHR or TPE, so it has to work on the local market alone. That, plus TPE is generally lower yield than mainland China incl. HKG, makes it a tough route to make work
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LondonCity
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:27 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
That, plus TPE is generally lower yield than mainland China incl. HKG, makes it a tough route to make work

Agreed. I suppose that's why EVA Air does so well by routing its LHR-TPE flight via BKK. Although it may not carry many through pax between LHR and TPE, Eva Air carries a healthy number of pax on the LHR-BKK and BKK-TPE sectors.
 
Kiwinlondon
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:34 pm

If this is true this would call into question the viability of the BNE-AKL sector as I suspect a number of PAX use CAL as a cheap(er) way of getting to the UK. This is most likely in particular for BNE pax. I think most pax out of AKL are TT only.

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lawair
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:30 pm

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 1):
The UK-far east is unpredictable, on one hand you have Thai downsizing LHR to A340s and Dynasty maybe leaving, plus whatecer Air Asia X decides to do but then Korean and Air China are adding services to Gatwick!

It is somewhat unpredictable overall but I believe the TG change (like perhaps all the other individual adjustments by other airlines) comes from circumstances specific to TG and Thailand. The change was announced in November during the height of the Bangkok flooding situation and the shutdown of Don Mueang Airport where their aircraft refurbishment was taking place (causing a delay for one 744 aircraft). I'm not sure if the aircraft delay has a part to play in this, but for sure a temporary decrease in demand caused TG to downgauge some routes and reduce frequencies to others (i.e. SYD). The same happened to the LHR route back in late 2008/early 2009 following the Suvarnabhumi airport shutdown. The 744 returns to LHR in late March of this year, and the A380 will supposedly take over a year or so after that.

[Edited 2012-01-10 10:32:32]
 
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BasilFawlty
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:09 pm

Airline Route reported today that CI will indeed end it's LHR flights, effective March 25th.
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trex8
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:28 am

Joining Skyteam probably makes CI having its own metal flying to LHR unnecessary. Would a stop en route like BR have helped? They could have put a A330 on which would be more fuel efficient as well.
The new ASA last year allow even more LHR-Taiwan flights to 14/week. What were the government officials thinking? Could a cargo flight make more sense to LHR but thats capped at 3 /week still, though MAN had an increase to 10/week? Taiwanese carriers have 5th freedom for pax and cargo thru MAN in the new agreement but where would they go with that?
As for BNE/AKL, or for that matter SYD, they may still serve some function for Skyteam.
 
psimpson
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:29 am

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 1):
The UK-far east is unpredictable, on one hand you have Thai downsizing LHR to A340s and Dynasty maybe leaving, plus whatecer Air Asia X decides to do but then Korean and Air China are adding services to Gatwick

Thai to my knowledge Thai are still using B747-400s on the LHR services.
I do remember a few years ago, maybe 2008? Thai using A340-600s on the morning TG910/911 service, but i dont think they have been back since.
 
lax888
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:07 am

 
seansasLCY
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:15 am

I was recently in Bangkok and I met some directors from China Airlines at the Lebua Hotel and when discussing options for travelling to the UK one of them mentioned that it was difficult to get to the UK from Taiwan as there were no direct flights. He was quickly corrected by another who said "We started flights!". Maybe a lack of advertising is something to do with why they are not doing too well on the route?
 
LondonCity
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:09 am

Quoting seansasLCY (Reply 12):
Maybe a lack of advertising is something to do with why they are not doing too well on the route?
http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...hina-airlines-to-drop-london-route

There's an interesting comment from "Stephen London" at the end of the news piece. He was saying there have been a number of cancellations in recent months and this has dissuaded business passengers from booking the non-stop flight.
 
kl911
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:05 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 9):
Joining Skyteam probably makes CI having its own metal flying to LHR unnecessary. Would a stop en route like BR have helped?

Could this end up with TPE-AMS going nonstop to cater for a lot of European onestop connections instead of the TPE-BKK-AMS route which is served by KLM, CI and BR?
 
planesarecool
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:04 pm

These flights aren't able to overfly mainland China, so there is no doubt an additional fuel penalty affecting profitability. BR's BKK stop makes sense as it takes them around China anyway.

I flew on the second LHR-TPE service they operated, back in March 2010, and the flight was full.
 
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BasilFawlty
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting kl911 (Reply 14):
Could this end up with TPE-AMS going nonstop to cater for a lot of European onestop connections instead of the TPE-BKK-AMS route which is served by KLM, CI and BR?

Highly unlikely, about 80% of all passengers disembark in BKK, only 20% are heading further to TPE.
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ebbuk
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:26 pm

So this is a hub to point that isn't working. Even as part of Skyteam to funnel pax through to Taipei? Hmmm


If hub to point won't bring in the traffic what will? Point to Point?
 
trex8
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:49 pm

IIRC they lose money on FCO for years but they have kept that going, though its not non stop. With a flight time of @14 hours + to LHR could a A332 do this? Can they make a technical stop somewhere en route? An A333 with one stop will still probably cost less than trying to fly non stop.
 
anonms
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:20 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 18):
With a flight time of @14 hours + to LHR could a A332 do this?

Maybe they'll revive TPE-LHR when they start getting their A359s (I presume they're using 747s now?)

[Edited 2012-01-11 15:20:33]
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yeogeo
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:30 pm

Quoting anonms (Reply 19):
I presume they're using 747s now?

Negative.
5293nm TPE-LHR China Airlines 343x2
World’s Longest Flights 17Jan Updates (by yeogeo Jan 3 2012 in Aviation Polls)

yeo
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Viscount724
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:58 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
There's next to nowhere to flow traffic beyond in either direction, either over LHR or TPE, so it has to work on the local market alone.

Probably a fair number of connections to/from MNL.
 
trex8
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:00 am

Actual route is probably closer to 6000nm+, they used to route over Hainan and northern Vietnam then south of the Himalayas, they cannot fly over central China/Tibet/Sinkiang and then the CIS like everyone else does which is why flight times are north of 14 hours.
 
anonms
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:37 am

Quoting yeogeo (Reply 20):
Negative.
5293nm TPE-LHR China Airlines 343x2
World’s Longest Flights 17Jan Updates (by yeogeo Jan 3 2012 in Aviation Polls)

yeo

Ah. Would running an A359 be more economical versus an A343 on that route (I will attempt to make another assumption in which I presume the A359 is more economical by default anyway and therefore am wondering if it would help make the route viable)?
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celestar
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:41 am

This is a classic case of long distance thin route for CI
If you look at their current range of aircraft, CI is not in any favorable condition to fly such thin route profitably.
I don't think A330-300 can fly direct from Taipei to London. If CI has a fleet of longer range B77-200ER or A330-200, I think they can reach London from Taiwan and make some money out of it.
When will CI replace their aging B747-400 and get rid of the A340 they have?
 
anonms
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:59 am

Quoting celestar (Reply 24):
When will CI replace their aging B747-400 and get rid of the A340 they have?

744: Not for a while, they're about halfway done refurbishing the old ones.
343: After A359 deliveries start.
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trex8
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:34 am

Quoting celestar (Reply 24):
I don't think A330-300 can fly direct from Taipei to London

you are right

Quoting celestar (Reply 24):
If CI has a fleet of longer range B77-200ER or A330-200, I think they can reach London from Taiwan and make some money out of it.

a A332 could'nt fly to UK on the present routing they use and a 772ER won't be burning any less fuel than a A343 but may have some more payload.

they need to get London to allow them to stop somewhere, an A333 fully loaded with cargo and some pax on a one stop has a fighting chance of making some $$

Quoting celestar (Reply 24):
When will CI replace their aging B747-400 and get rid of the A340 they have?

they aren't that old as 744s go, late 90s deliveries -97, 98 mostly and 4 from less than 10 years ago, they were the last pax 744s made.

they really ought to get some A332s, they have nothing between a 738 and an A333. also the extra range compared to a A333 may be useful on some routes, even transpac.
 
Viscount724
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:56 am

Quoting trex8 (Reply 26):
Quoting celestar (Reply 24):
When will CI replace their aging B747-400 and get rid of the A340 they have?

they aren't that old as 744s go, late 90s deliveries -97, 98 mostly and 4 from less than 10 years ago, they were the last pax 744s made.

Right, the last 4 passenger 744s built went to CI in 2004 and 2005. The very last (photo below) is still less than 7 years old, delivered April 26, 2005.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Brandon Farris

 
AV8AJET
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:07 am

Could they sell the slot in LHR to Delta? It would be nice to have a 2nd daily ATL-LHR flight! Just a thought.
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celestar
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:29 am

A little off the subject.
I think CI is poorly positioned itself in terms of their current fleet. Until they have the A350, which I have no idea when that will be. They are left with A333 for regional, which is nice in term of capacity, certainly much better than A300-600 but in terms of long haul, they are stuck with B747-400. How can you be profitable in the Trans Pacific flight against EVA AIR fleet of B773ER? CI bet that air-cargo was going to be blooming and I think had the idea of changing pax plane into cargo but that did not materialize in today's global economy direction.
EVA on the other hand, had a good fleet rationalization. B773ER long haul, occasional regional high volume. Regional all A330-200 or the new A330-300. They are adding A320NEO for China cities and that seems ideal to replace the MD90 fleet.
 
panamair
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:42 pm

Quoting AV8AJET (Reply 28):
Could they sell the slot in LHR to Delta? It would be nice to have a 2nd daily ATL-LHR flight! Just a thought

The CI slot is useless for transatlantic flights; arrival at 4pm, and departure at 9pm.
 
trex8
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:13 pm

Quoting celestar (Reply 29):
How can you be profitable in the Trans Pacific flight against EVA AIR fleet of B773ER? CI bet that air-cargo was going to be blooming and I think had the idea of changing pax plane into cargo but that did not materialize in today's global economy direction.

Except most of those 744s are paid for while BR is paying for the capital costs of the 77Ws. When lease rates for a 77w are north of a million a month, you can burn a lot of gas in a 744 if you aren't paying it off as well! But there may still be a chance for th e77w in CI. The CEO mentioned in a recent interview the 77W was an attractive plane or something to that effect.
Also with a large 744F fleet they don't need belly cargo capacity as much. They have too much freighter capacity as it is let alone want to use 744BCFs, which they have AFAIK not been interested in. Every 744 which has left the fleet and been converted has gone to another airline or Boeing. They recently got the 744F they leased to Yangtze River back and its stored. They took delivery 0f 21 freighters and sold one to Yangtze River (which they part own) and leased one which is now stored.
If they need more cargo capacity they should pick up some A332Fs. Makes more sense flying an A332 on TPE- PEN etc than sending a 744F! For that matter I bet they would do very nicely sending their 744Fs to an ANC hub and then flying A332Fs into the lower 48 states and have higher frequency and not have those crazy routes thru 2 points or more in the lower 48 and being half empty or less on some segments.
Given Air Asias ending of London flights and CIs will we see other carriers stop soon?
 
lax888
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:15 am

Don't forget that KL (in Skyteam) also flies to TPE from AMS and probably takes a fair share of passengers from other European destinations, which connect in AMS for the TPE flight. Basically this route for CI is most probably only based on UK and TPE traffic and I recall that some passengers used this route to go to Australia as they offered cheap Business Class tickets on this route. However most business travellers would probably choose CX or TG to TPE from LHR as they are quite competitive and fly everyday in comparison to CI. Just my thoughts.

Also on a side note, CI does not really have a competitive C class product as they are not even really lie-flat but something a bit less. I flew once from TPE-PEK on their B744 in C class and whilst the product was great for a three hours flight, I would have been very unhappy to pay a C class fare for a long haul flight. I guess this was another reason why they sold their C class tickets for less than other carriers.
 
vv701
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RE: China Airlines To Axe Taipei-London Route?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:30 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 3):
Yes, the situation re Air Asia X is strange. Have you seen what this carrier is charging for LGW-KUL return from the end of March ?

This probably explains why:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16526235

Air Asia X are quitting Europe at the end ofr the current Winter Season.