China Airlines to fly Taipei-London on Airbus A350

By David Flynn, June 29 2017
China Airlines to fly Taipei-London on Airbus A350

China Airlines will launch direct flights between Taipei and London from December 1 2017, relying on the SkyTeam member's new Airbus A350 jets to resume a route which it abandoned in 2012.

The 13-hour flights will run four days each week between Taipei and London's Gatwick Airport, and dovetail with the debut of double-daily A350s on the Sydney-Taipei route – also from December 1 – to create an "A350 all the way" service.

  • flight CI069 will depart Taipei at 9.30am to reach London Gatwick at 3.30pm every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, with a slight time change to 8.55am/2.55pm on Fridays
  • flight CI070 will leave London at 9.15pm for a 6.30pm touchdown at Taipei  on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

The move also sees a new Kangaroo Route hopping into the market – this time via Tiapei – with China Airlines joining the handful of "A350 all the way" routes flown by Cathay Pacific from Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth to London.

Inside China Airlines' Airbus A350

The A350 interiors have been shaped by Taiwanese designer Ray Chen, who also created the new look of China Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER cabin  and its flagship lounge at Taipei's Taoyuan Airport Terminal 1 (shown below), which takes its cues from Chinese art and architecture to present a “Southern China-style garden" in the middle of the terminal.

China Airlines' Airbus A350 will exude similar influences, especially in the business class cabin.

Starting from the same B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat as on China Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER, and also adopted by Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia among others, each of 32 passengers will enjoy direct access to the aisle.

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

However, Chen says that while the Boeing 777's cabin was built on an 'Ancient Oriental' theme, the A350 adopts a brighter 'Modern Oriental' palette, including LED mood lighting which counts among its schemes a cheery Chinese New Year display.

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 are be able to tap into an inflight satellite Internet service.

China Airlines will boost its Taipei-Brisbane flights to a daily schedule from December 1 2017, up from the current four flights a week, although the Sydney–Auckland leg of its Taipei-Sydney flights will end on July 13 – the same day that Emirates pulls the plug on its Sydney-Auckland Airbus A380 service.


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.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1205

CI has a particularly impressive Premium Economy cabin. Its fixed shells and wide armrests are a real step up from what most other airlines offer.  39" is also an inch more than a lot of airlines such as QF, VS and SQ but still a bit short of legroom leaders such as NZ and VA.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


Agree.  I luv this PY by CI ever since its debut 3yrs ago and regard it as 1 of the top 3 worldwide on my personal list.

Furthermore, U may noticed that this PY on 350 may possibly be the widest PY specs in the sky today....only 7abreast(same as LH's) whereas SQ's and CX's are the more squeezy 8abreast.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1244

Always good for the consumer to see more competition on the Kangaroo Route.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

That airline looks amazing. Definitely keep an eye out for opportunities to fly it. Just need to figure out which sky team FFP to credit to!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 588

I believe what SQ call premium economy is a miserable 2-4-2 layout with seat width the same as Y in their A380 and 77W.  This seats like amuch better hard product

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1205

You are right.  Same for QF and VA and NZ on its updated 777s.  CI has a product that other airlines should look to.  It is probably the best W seat out there now since NZ has moved away from its innovative but ultimately unprofitable space-seat on its 77Ws.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


"Same for....VA and NZ on its updated 777s"
8 abreast in a 221in cabin diameter(i.e. 350) is quite a bit diff proposition than 8 abreast in a 230in cabin diameter(i.e. 777).  That's far larger diff in seat width(over 1 inch per seat) than say the diff between 9 abreast Y on 350 vs 787.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


Re 8abreast for PY on SQ's 350, ditto for CX.

Technically in a 350 cabin, U get about 0.5in more seat width fm a PY seat on SQ/CX than fm a Y(not PY) seat on JL's 787....

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 143

Their web site doesn't appear to be selling fares to/from LGW outside of direct flights to/from HKG, KLO and Teipei. I'm guessing to book a flight from SYD/MEL to LGW, you'd need to run that as two tix?

08 Feb 2017

Total posts 7

They might just need time to update their booking system - there's no way they're not selling this flight as a Kangaroo Route.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2559

Yes, at the moment you need to click the multi-city tab and book SYD-TPE and then TPE-LGW...

11 Jun 2017

Total posts 3

Great News,

I flew the A350 from Rome in Business and it was fantastic, though the onward A330 to Brisbane was abit average. 

Do you know when the A350 is scheduled to replace the A330 to Brisbane?

13 Feb 2017

Total posts 21

The Kangaroo Route already exists via Taipei for the Brisbane market.

EVA Air operate a sensational hard product which outclasses all competitors ex-BNE - even Singapore Airlines. Better seats, even better (Rimowa) amenity cases.

And strangely, their dual hub model leads to a change at Taipei but also an hour on the ground at Bangkok, and that makes it easier to minimise jet lag.

Best of all, at $5,500 return their Business Class is only around $1000 dearer than competing Premium Economy fares.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


"...their dual hub model leads to a change at Taipei but also an hour on the ground at Bangkok."
<dual hub model> is the most kind/diplomatic way I hv ever heard to describe a 2-stops routing between AU and London in this era of 16hrs+ nonstops becoming common.

In the airline industry, the std definition re <dual hub model> refers to a carrier's network strategy of deploying the vast majority of longhaul nonstop routes fm their 2 largest hub bases such as QF @ SYD+MEL, LH @ FRA+MUC, AC @ YYZ+YVR, NH @ HND+NRT, etc.  BKK certainly does not function as such for BR per this definition.

" $5,500 return their Business Class is only around $1000 dearer than competing Premium Economy fares."
Makes U wonder why BR's J fare is so much cheaper than competitors'....may be most demand for J on the AU-London Kangaroo routes are fm the corp/biz mkt segment and extra travel time for employees is extra $ cost for their employers?

I may be totally off fm reality but I strongly suspect BR's only realistic targets for J on their 2-stops AU-London route are:
a) hi-end leisure segment and
b) self-employed/SME biz traveller segment  

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