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