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Taipei Taoyuan eyes more SE Asia and long-haul links

Taipei Taoyuan International airport is looking to open up new connections to secondary cities in Southeast Asia as it continues to focus on connecting passengers through to North America.

“For now, we want to see more second tier cities in the Asian market,” explains senior manager business planning and marketing Ting Yuanhung.

These include cities such as Surabaya in Indonesia, which Ting says is its largest unserved market. Other cities in Malaysia and Thailand are also high on the agenda, as are links to more cities in India.

On the long-haul front, the airport has been pleased to welcome the return of United Airlines’ services to San Francisco, and is hopeful that more US carriers will follow suit.

Other recent wins include Air France returning to Taipei from Paris Charles de Gaulle, while Air New Zealand will return in November, operating five weekly nonstop services to Auckland.

Ting says the airport would also like to host more European carriers, with more non-stop services to London seen as “the biggest potential under-served market for us.”

China Airlines started services to London Gatwick in December 2017 following a five-year absence, while EVA Air also flies to London Heathrow via Bangkok.

Ting acknowledges however that European services are complicated by overflight issues through Russian and Chinese airspace, which make flightpaths longer and thus impact the viability of non-stop services in particular.

In terms of facilities, the airport has a third terminal under construction that is set to be finished in 2020, which will take its handling capacity to 45 million passengers per annum.

Taoyuan is also planning to build a third parallel runway, targeted to open in 2025.

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