China Airlines to fly Airbus A350 on Sydney-Taipei route

By David Flynn, May 12 2017

China Airlines will add its latest Airbus A350 to Sydney from December 1 2017 while also going double daily with flights on the Sydney-Taipei route.

Overnight updates to the airline's booking system show both the regular flight CI51/CI52 (which currently runs on an Airbus A330) and the new CI55/CI56 service will both see the advanced Airbus A350, which sports an upmarket business class based on the same design as that of Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways, among others.

The 32 seats each offer direct aisle access and a side-table for spreading our your inflight stuff...

... and convert into a 78 inch (1.9 metre) fully-flat bed, with an 18 inch video screen to keep you entertained during the flight.

Behind the business class cabin is the Sky Bistro bar with self-serve drinks and snacks.

Further back are 31 premium economy seats arranged in rows of 2-3-2...

... which at 20 inches wide and with a 39 inch pitch add two inches in width and seven inches of pitch compared to the A350's 243 standard 3-3-3 economy seats.

All passengers will be able to tap into an inflight satellite Internet service.

The new China Airlines flight CI56 leaves Sydney at 1.30pm to reach Taipei at 7.50pm; the CI55 return leg is wheels-up from Taipei at 8.10am and arrives into Sydney at 8.25pm.

The SkyTeam member will also increase its Taipei-Brisbane-Auckland flights to a daily service, up from the current four flights a week, from December 1.

Sydney-Auckland flights cancelled

However, there's bad news for travellers who relied on China Airlines for a trans-Tasman hop across the pond: schedule updates indicate that China Airlines is pulling the plug on its Sydney-Auckland flights as of December 1.

These Auckland flights ran an an add-on leg from the Taipei-Sydney service and could be booked on their own as a single leg between Australia and New Zealand.

A spokesperson for China Airlines confirmed these changes to Australian Business Traveller, along with cancellation of similar Sydney–Christchurch flights from October 29, 2017, saying they reflected "changed business strategies for this winter schedule in 2017."

Of the move to double daily Airbus A350 flights between Taipei and Sydney, the airline "believes this strategy will increase more passengers from Europe or other countries to take China Airlines flights for flight connecting arrangement in Taiwan."

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Andy H

Andy H

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 116

TPE-BNE-AKL still on but has increased to daily from 1 Dec 17. Hopefully the A350 is soon after that!

Viscount2

Viscount2

14 Dec 2015

Total posts 18

The premium economy looks good

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@Viscount:

Not only looks good but clearly among the best PY design out there today.  It also has the most spacious PY specs of all 350 operators(only LH matches CI) being significantly more generous than even SQ and CX.

boeingmannn

boeingmannn

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 14

So... they currently have 4 flights a week and are increasing it to 14? That's quite a bold move...

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@boeingmannn:

As stated in the article, TPE-SYD/BNE total wkly capacity by CI increase fm 11 wkly to 21 wkly as below:

TPE-SYD - Current=7w, Dec17=14w

TPE-BNE - Current=4w, Dec17=7w

aviator

aviator

30 Oct 2012

Total posts 23

Kudos to them for trying, and reminds me of when CZ went from a handful of flights to double daily on SYD-CAN.

I suspect CI is positioning itself as a high quality, value for money alternative somewhere between where CX and CZ currently sit on both Europe and more importantly Asia where CI/AE have comparable footprint now to CX/KA in terms of destinations in China, as well as Japan and Korea in second tier cities which is superior in coverage to CX/KA and doesn't require backtracking as can be the case with KE/OZ.

isdnman

isdnman

06 May 2013

Total posts 11

Any news on their MEL-CHC leg being cancelled?

afloskar

afloskar

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 130

Is it seasonal or year round?

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@afloskar:

MEL-CHC definitely has been a seasonal service on CI system timetable for yrs.

tris06

tris06

China Airlines - Dynasty Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 68

I have some close contacts in Taiwan who are in the know.

Firstly yes the TPE-BNE-AKL is still valid. CI still intends to service AKL and CHC as there is a decent market for passengers wanting to fly to Taiwan.
The A350 is coming to the TPE-BNE-AKL route but seems to have been delayed until early 2018 when more frames are delivered. CI realises the A330 is no longer sufficient when the competition is offering far superior products.

TPE-MEL-CHC , the MEL-CHC is seasonal but they do plan to keep developing the route over the next few years to support eventually a weekly flight to MEL and maybe a tag on flight to CHC all year. This route may also eventually transfer to the A350 either in 2018 or when the 6 options are ordered and delivered.

Now for the SYD fliers! I am very jealous firstly (I only fly HKG-TPE-BNE).
But the best news is the PE cabin will be sold as economy! If you have a Dynasty elite membership (Gold, Emerald, Paragon) you will be able to select these seats. If you have Skyteam elite plus card you should be able to get the seat if available upon checking and maybe over the phone to CI office.They may or may not allow a small number of seats to be selected by anyone booking the flight online without any of the above mentioned.

Michael Kao

Michael Kao

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 336

I am a bit surprised that they opt the A350 to SYD first rather than BNE consider that we have a larger Taiwanese population here. CI is the only airline servicing SYD-TPE so they have the monopoly, compare to BNE where BR also servicing the route. By coming to BNE first they will have the advantage of offering a more superior product than BR (who still use outdated A330 angled lie flat at 2-2-2) and hopefully secure more of the Taiwanese market here, and potentially offer the best trans-tasman J product.

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

2tris:

"CI still intends to service AKL and CHC as there is a decent market for passengers wanting to fly to Taiwan."

There is for traveling between AKL and Taiwan but it doesn't mean BNE/SYD-AKL by CI must continue.  Canceling AKL-BNE/SYD-TPE in exchange for AKL-TPE nonstop sounds like a more attractive option for those pax and consolidating those traffic currently splitted across AKL-BNE and AKL-SYD into a single AKL-TPE route seems like a sustainable scale to initially support perhaps 4x wkly.  In addition, it opens up 1-stop routings via TPE between AKL and the entire N.E.Asian CI network covering so many Tier2 cities across Japan and China....AKL-TPE nonstop won't be only about pax wanting to fly between Taiwan and NZ.

I always believe CI want to do AKL-TPE because tags/5th freedom ops are costly(e.g. tie-up aircraft asset for too long for a given distance)+very low yield(bi-laterally restricted uncompetitive frequency....that's why we see amazing CI fare on Trans-Tasman).  They couldn't do it for yrs because for that mkt size, their 744/77W hv far too many seats, 343 fuel burn would kill them(Now all gone fm CI fleet) and 333 simply do not hv such range capability.  359 @ CI addresses all those legacy issues re AKL-TPE nonstop.

CHC-Taiwan on the other hand will always stay as a tag fm AU  because of its leisure traffic-heavy nature.

"CI realises the A330 is no longer sufficient when the competition is offering far superior products."

Perhaps on a few other CI routes but clearly not TPE-BNE where their only competitor offers practically the same product std fm nose to tail and on exactly the same aircraft type....I'm surprised your "close contacts in Taiwan who are in the know" are unaware of this.

crazybenjamin

crazybenjamin

15 Dec 2015

Total posts 21

"CI still intends to service AKL and CHC"

Why not just fly non-stop? CA, CZ and MU fly nonstop to AKL from Mainland China.

richard89

richard89

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2017

Total posts 25

I used their BNE AKL service quite a few times. Can often get Y return for under $400NZD incl 30KG. Trump's even NZ/VA codeshare on their most basic fares. Be very very sad to see it go!

afloskar

afloskar

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 130

It's not going...

highflyer

highflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 296

Do QF Platinum flyers get any benefits or recognition flying CI to Taiwan as a Qantas CodeShare service?

ie Lounge access etc?

wcha49

wcha49

China Airlines - Dynasty Flyer

12 May 2017

Total posts 7

In Melbourne, China Airlines uses Qantas Lounge anyway which will be similar to Brisbane and Sydney if you are on QF code. In Sydney, China Airlines uses SkyTeam Lounge.

You will get the Express Departure card at the check-in counter when heading to Taiwan and to arrive in Australia(MEL, BNE or SYD), flight attendant will issue Express Arrival Card after the plane takes off.

tris06

tris06

China Airlines - Dynasty Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 68

I have seen Qantas members being able to use the QF lounge in BNE for this codeshare flight. In Taipei though I think they are unable to use the CI lounge. No idea if CX will let them in on the codeshare.

wcha49

wcha49

China Airlines - Dynasty Flyer

12 May 2017

Total posts 7

According to China Airlines, starting from 9 MAY to 27 OCT

CI53 (TPE-BNE) on Sunday does not extend to Auckland which means CI54 on Monday returns from Brisbane to Taipei!

CI53 (TPE-BNE-AKL) runs normally on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Similarly, CI54 (AKL-BNE-TPE) runs on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. 

As for Sydney route,

On Tuesday, CI51 (TPE-SYD) does not run to Auckland and CI52 on Wednesday only runs from Sydney to Taipei.

On Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, CI51 runs to Sydney to stopover and head to Auckland. As for the return legs, CI52 will run from Auckland to Brisbane and to Taipei on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

 

kanishkabakmi

kanishkabakmi

26 Jun 2015

Total posts 6

Thank you China Airlines for your turnaround flights ex sydney. you'll have lot of good ideas. 

people who knows know how easy and how good and how nice and how beautiful and how every thing is well. thank you good airline. also please fly direct to NZ from TPE will be excellent too for passengers.. 

Mickhenny

Mickhenny

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 2

Has anyone actually flown with China Airlines SYD-FRA on there preimium class and business class

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