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.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT