EVA Air returns to Brisbane

The Taiwanese airline, and its impressive Boeing 787 business class, bounce back to Brisbane in December.

By David Flynn, October 3 2021
EVA Air returns to Brisbane

While Queensland's timeline for the restart of international travel remains unknown, Taiwan's EVA Air is making a measured return to Brisbane.

The Star Alliance member has confirmed it will resume flights between Taipei and Brisbane from December 7, albeit only on a weekly basis for starters.

“Due to Covid-19, EVA suspended our Taipei-Brisbane-Taipei flights until the end of November," a spokesperson for EVA Air tells Executive Traveller. "We plan to resume four scheduled flights in December."

Those flights will be December 7, 14, 21 and 28 – admittedly far cry from the carrier's original daily service.

"At the same time, we are continuing to monitor pandemic conditions and border controls by all concerned authorities," the EVA spokesperson said. "We will be prepared to make further adjustments to our operations if it is necessary."

EVA's Taipei-Brisbane route is handled by a Boeing 787-9, which sports a modern business class cabin of 26 flatbed seats, each with ample personal space and direct access to the aisle.

EVA Air's Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class.
EVA Air's Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class.

These seats are the familiar Thompson Aero Vantage Suite, easily recognisable to Qantas frequent flyers as the Australian airline's Business Suite from the Boeing 787-9, Airbus A330 and upgraded Airbus A380s (the later of which will return to the skies in July 2022).

However, to make them something special for what EVA calls its Royal Laurel Class, the airline turned to BMW Designworks for some serious customisation and styling.

EVA Air's Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class.
EVA Air's Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class.

The same seats crown EVA's Boeing 787-10, which Executive Traveller reviewed in late 2019 between Taipei and Hong Kong.

ET review: EVA Air's Boeing 787-10 Royal Laurel business class

However, unlike the airline's Boeing 777-300 jets, there's no premium economy on these Dreamliners – just 278 economy seats for passengers turning right.

Once overseas trips from Brisbane are back on the map – and with the prospect of home quarantine or even a quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and Taiwan – travellers to Taipei on EVA Air's Dreamliner will not only enjoy one of Asia's lesser-known gems, but ahead of their return they can relax and reflect in the airline's flagship The Infinity business class lounge or The Star or The Club lounges for frequent flyers.

EVA Air's The Infinity business class lounge, Taipei.
EVA Air's The Infinity business class lounge, Taipei.

EVA's main rival is national flag-carrier and SkyTeam member China Airlines, whose pre-pandemic schedule to Australia featured Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, while Qantas has also said it would consider launching flights to Taipei under a travel bubble.

Startup challenger Starlux has also said that Australia could be among the destinations for its Airbus A330neo jets, which arrive from 2022.

David

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.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 473

Does EVA know something we don’t about Qld border arrangements?

I didn’t think the outgoing volume (to taipei) would have been anywhere significant even if it is one flight a week at this time

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 487

I've always found it interesting how Taiwan has placed special emphasis on Brisbane when most other international airlines choose Sydney and Melbourne as their first (main) ports of call. For years, EVA and China Airlines served Brisbane but not Melbourne or even Sydney. Once they started up Sydney services, they still offered a greater frequency out of Brisbane.

Malaysian for instance, stopped flying to Brisbane for a while, but strangely enough retained Adelaide. Later on, they returned to Brisbane.

THAI, as a result of severe financial difficulties is likely to pull out of Brisbane post-Covid. Originally, they were also going to stop flying to Perth, but Perth has now been re-instated, looking at their timetables. While THAI may one day serve Brisbane again, clearly, BNE is the least important of all it's Australasian destinations. This, despite Thai AirAsia choosing Brisbane as it's first destination in Australia prior to Covid. Hopefully they'll resume the Brisbane route post-Covid.

Is there something special about Brisbane that attracts Taiwanese over other Asians?

Brisbane has Australia's largest Taiwanese community, so I suppose that's a decent drawcard in itself, but maybe also it's enough of a different destination and close enough to both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast to make Brisbane appealing compared to Sydney and Melbourne which Air China already serves.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 473

BTW currently all Taiwan residents and non Taiwan residents but with approved visa are still required to undergo 14-day quarantine after arrival. All travelers are required to arrange their location of quarantine prior to arrival and follow other regulations and instructions by Taiwan Centers of Disease Control.

This is regardless or vaccination status

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 487

Any news on when Taiwan plans on opening up? In terms of the mandatory quarantine, is this allowed to be taken at home or must it be in a hotel, which is what most SE Asian countries as well as mainland China mandate?

08 May 2020

Total posts 32

Only bookable to Taipai, not as part of an itinerary onwards to Europe (Amsterdam, Paris or London)

09 Sep 2021

Total posts 16

It feels like airlines are trying so hard to get people back , but they're swimming against the tides. Still so much uncertainty Lots of understandable excitement, but far too much niggling uncertainty for my liking.

I hope things come together in the near future, for everyone's sake.

18 Sep 2018

Total posts 3

Is Taiwan still banning transit passengers? I think it started on 19 May and I can't find it being lifted. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 24

Yes transit pax still banned as of Oct 7th 2021...

Looks like Taiwan is going to be the last country in the world to open its borders, being very proud of their nonsense zero case covid policy.


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