Taiwan’s Eva Air is the latest carrier in Asia-Pacific to turn its focus to Seattle with the airline set to give its daily service to the US city a frequency boost on May 25 that will see the route served 10 times per week.
The new flights (BR003/BR004) will depart Taipei (TPE) on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 7.50pm and arrive in Seattle (SEA) the same day at 3.40pm. The return leg then takes off from Seattle on Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 1.20am before arriving back at Eva Air’s home base at 4.40am the following day.
This gives travellers two flight times to choose from on three days of the week, though admittedly the timings are not vastly different from Eva Air’s existing daily service on the route. Flight BR026 departs Taipei at 11.40pm, just under four hours after the new BR004, while flight BR025 departs Seattle at 1.50am, only 30 minutes later than the incoming BR003.
As with its daily flights, these additional three weekly services will be operated by the carrier’s three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which offer Royal Laurel Class (business), premium economy and economy class cabins.
Eva Air has three configurations for this aircraft, and it is unclear which of the three types will be operating the new services. Depending on the configuration, the 777-300ER has either 38 or 39 seats in Royal Laurel Class split across two cabins.
These seats (pictured) are laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration providing direct aisle access to all passengers in the cabin, and are able to recline to a fully flat two-metre-long bed. The seats are a modified version of the Cirrus seat developed by Thompson Aero, now acquired by Safran Seats, that is also used on Cathay Pacific’s, Air France’s and American Airlines’ 777-300ERs.
The premium economy cabin on the 777-300ER is laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration with seats offering 38 inches of pitch (legroom), while the economy cabin is laid out in a nine-across (3-3-3) set up on two of the aircraft configurations, and the dreaded 10-across (3-4-3) on the third.
A number of airlines in Asia-Pacific have been turning their attention to Seattle in recent months, either boosting existing services or announcing new routes altogether.
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, for instance, has done both. The airline is due to launch non-stop flights to Seattle on March 31 this year, but has already announced it will be boosting the service from four times per week to once per day starting July 1.
US carrier Delta Air Lines, meanwhile, will be launching Seattle-Osaka flights on April 1, having cut its Seattle-Hong Kong flights back in October.
Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines has also applied for a thrice-weekly Shanghai-Seattle service with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), though it remains to be seen whether this will be successful.