China Airlines to launch Taipei-Melbourne-Christchurch flights

China Airlines to launch Taipei-Melbourne-Christchurch flights

SkyTeam alliance member and Taiwan flag carrier China Airlines will boost its Australian network later this year with the launch of non-stop flights between Melbourne and Taipei, complemented also by new trans-Tasman flights between Melbourne and Christchurch.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from October 25 2015 through March 26 2016, Melbourne residents can reach Taipei on the new CI58 service – leaving the Victorian capital at 11:10pm to reach Taipei at 5:35am the following morning.

Returning on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, CI57 pushes back at 11:30pm in Taipei to touch down in Melbourne at 11:50am: just in time for lunch on the next calendar day.

You can also hitch a ride solely from Melbourne to Christchurch on CI57, departing at 1:10pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and landing in New Zealand at 6:30pm that evening.

Journeying home from Christchurch on the same days aboard CI58 sees you leaving the gate at 7:50pm and walking to baggage claim at 9:40pm local time in Melbourne, as confirmed by a China Airlines spokesperson.

While the China Airlines website doesn't yet list Melbourne among its destinations, flights from Taipei to Christchurch via Melbourne are now open for booking:

Using an Airbus A330-300 aircraft offering both business class and economy, it's believed that guests at the pointy end and SkyTeam Elite Plus cardholders down the back will have access to Air New Zealand's lounges in both Melbourne and Christchurch.

The news follows a planned revival of flights between Sydney and Christchurch over the Australian summer, which China Airlines ran on a trial basis the year prior.

China Airlines also flies from Taipei to both Sydney and Brisbane, and onwards from these cities to Auckland year-round.

Also read: China Airlines unveils new cabin crew uniforms in pop video

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • Jason Bird


    23 Jun, 2015 04:45 pm

    What's the biz class seating like on their A330-300's?

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  • Chris Chamberlin


    23 Jun, 2015 04:59 pm

    We don't have any large and clear photos, but the seats are configured as 2-2-2 with 166-degree recline (not fully-flat), have AC power and 10.4-inch personal TVs with entertainment on demand.

    Best image in our library is this low-res trio:

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  • djcz


    24 Jun, 2015 06:53 am

    I flew with CI from BNE - TPE in J and it was the exact same product as J with SQ and VA

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  • Agfox


    23 Jun, 2015 05:13 pm

    There's a review SYD-AKL in Business on a China Airlines A330-300 here

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  • Kevin Yeh


    23 Jun, 2015 08:04 pm

    These are the 170deg recline seats, a bit of a slippery slide on a long journey. They've been slated to be replaced by A350 from later next year, can't wait for new seats!!

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  • BizTraveller


    23 Jun, 2015 09:41 pm

    This will put the pressure on the smaller plane carriers on the CHC/MEL route to up their game - as a bigger plane, multi class and full service (and I also assume competitive $$'s) option should be attactive enough to the make punters take notice or at least shop around.

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  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    25 Jun, 2015 01:27 am

    I don't think so. 

    Take BNE-AKL for example. CI has been servicing this route on A330 for a long time with very competitive pricing. There is also EK using A380 with first class suite (and shower!) plus fully lie flat business class, also with competitive pricing, it didn't make any difference with QF and VA, who continues to service 737 with domestic business class. 

    Both QF, VA and NZ do not have enough wide body jets to service more new routes (QF even had to can some SYD-LAX flight to fill SYD-SFO!) so I seriously doubt that with CI coming would make any difference. 

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  • BizTraveller


    25 Jun, 2015 03:43 am

    I agree with you ex Auckland where the choice and capacity is much greater - however CHC currently only has very limited options across the Tasman. For example on the CHC/MEL route you only have Air NZ with 1 flight daily, Virgin 3 flights a week and Jetstar with 6 flights a week. My point is simply that there is no wide body full service option on this route currently as each of there carriers fly only A320 or B737 on this sector in a single Y class configuration. 

    The only trans tasman wide body flight to service CHC is the daily EK - B777 service to SYD. From my experiance EK is a pleasure to fly with - and with their partnership with QF open up many options across the Tasman. But here is the interesting point fares are often sub $200 in Y and sub $500 in J - with F also available if your budget stretchers that far. This competes well with the pay as you go trans tasman confusion that other carriers offer. 

    Bring on the competition I say!

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  • Brian Williams


    29 Jun, 2015 11:59 am

    Dead right BizTraveller - a few years back EK had a daily MEL-CHC service which I used many times, so as to have a decent J service. The EK staff in MEL were baffled when it was unexpectedly deleted from the schedule after they'd gradually built up the loads to the point where it was profitable and still improving.

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  • sgb


    21 Dec, 2015 02:40 pm

    What happens after March 26 2016, do they stop flying this route.

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23 Sep, 2018 07:39 am


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