EVA Air president Austin Cheng has scotched rumours that the Taiwan airline will launch Sydney-Taipei flights later this year, or indeed at any time in the near future.
“We currently lack that capability for that route, it depends on the aircraft” Cheng told Australian Business Traveller in Taipei earlier this week, adding that his first priority is to increase EVA’s Brisbane-Taipei schedule from two flights per week to daily.
“We will focus on having Brisbane daily before adding Sydney or Melbourne” Cheng said.
However, Australia’s largest cities will still need to tack a back seat to other Asian countries where EVA sees greater potential for growth.
“Our focus is much more on mainland China and Japan” Cheng said.
No plans for Virgin Australia codeshare
Asked about the possibility of a codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia to help travellers from other Australian cities connect to EVA’s Brisbane service, an EVA spokesman told Australian Business Traveller that the airline has not had any discussions with Virgin Australia.
And while in March this year Qantas ended its codeshare agreement with EVA Air to favour oneworld partner Cathay Pacific and its offshoot Dragonair, the spokesman said that EVA still retained an interline agreement with Qantas to facilitate Australian bookings.
EVA Air entered the Star Alliance network this week, joining the likes of Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, United and Air New Zealand in the world's largest airline alliance.
Australian Business Traveller travelled to Taipei as a guest of Star Alliance.
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