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China Airlines is launching flights between Taipei and New York this month, and hoping to win a slice of the NYC-bound Australian market on the back of its existing flights from Sydney to Taipei.
The airline -- based in Taiwan and not to be confused with Air China, the national flag carrier of the People's Republic of China -- will fly from Taipei to New York's JFK airport three times a week.
An intermediate stop at Osaka-Kansai airport in western Japan is a slight downside to the service. But for cost-conscious business travellers, or if additional meetings in Taipei and/or Osaka can be conveniently scheduled, the flights will be a welcome option.
Advertised fares from Sydney to New York (including tax) start at $5226 for business class and $1785 in economy.
From Sydney to Taipei, flights are on Airbus A330 aircraft with business and economy seats.
Taipei-Osaka-New York flights are on Boeing 747s, which China Airlines says will be "totally refurbished 747-400 aircraft configured with 70 business class and 319 economy class seats".
China Airlines' Sydney Sales Manager, Jim Wong, extolled the virtues of his airline's plans: "the introduction of the first-ever Taipei/New York flights – operated via Osaka’s Kansai International Airport – are in response to a growing demand from the business and leisure sectors."
For frequent flyers looking to boost their miles or points balance, China Airlines is a new member of the SkyTeam alliance.
That means that you can take advantage of the matched frequent flyer status from Air France-KLM's Flying Blue programme we brought you recently to gain access to the airline's lounges and move up the list for upgrades.
While no Australian airlines are SkyTeam members, Delta, China Southern, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines fly to Australia, and you can funnel miles and points from China Airlines flights to their programmes.
Further abroad, Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Alitalia, Czech Airlines, Kenya Airways, Middle East Airlines and Tarom are also SkyTeam members.