China Airlines will start up thrice weekly direct Tainan-Hong Kong services from July 18.
The flight will depart from Tainan Airport on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 1430, arriving at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok at 1605. It leaves the next day at 1135, touching down in the southern Taiwanese city at 1300.
Tainan is recognised as Taiwan’s most historic city, and was – centuries ago – the base of Dutch colonisers, followed by the Ming general Koxinga, the Ching Dynasty and then the Japanese. It is also known as the city of snacks for the plethora of local delicacies available, among the most popular being steamed meat rolls, deep-fried shrimp rolls, "coffin" toast (containing meat and vegetables in a creamy sauce) and green noodles. Airline executives have said they will serve the famous Baihe Lotus Tea onboard to provide a sample of Tainan's culinary reputation.
The new service is expected to boost business at Tainan Airport, which remains primarily a domestic hub, despite also being licenced to handle international flights. It has seen passenger numbers drop since 2007 when the Taiwan High Speed Rail was launched. On top of this, Far Eastern Air Transport ceased flights from Taipei Songshan Airport in 2008, ending its 50-year association with the facility. Competitor Trans Asia Airways, meanwhile, has downgraded the aircraft type used to fly to the destination.
Besides Tainan, residents of Yuanlin and Chiayi cities are also expected to benefit from the flights to the Special Administrative Region.
Watch out for our coverage of Tainan in the July-August 2013 issue of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.
For more details, visit www.china-airlines.com
Margie T Logarta