Leak of the Week – EVA Air eyes-up Milan and Barcelona; Washington and Chicago also mooted; Delhi and Cebu to get connections too

EVA Air ‒ soon to be seen flying over these cities. With 24 787-10s and two more 777-300s in the delivery pipeline, the Star Alliance carrier will have to look at new city pairs to keep these new aircraft gainfully employed. Top of the list are Milan and Barcelona in Europe, as well as Washington and Chicago in the US, and Delhi and Cebu in Asia.

EVA Air ‒ soon to be seen flying over these cities. With 24 787-10s and two more 777-300s in the delivery pipeline, the Star Alliance carrier will have to look at new city pairs to keep these new aircraft gainfully employed. Top of the list are Milan and Barcelona in Europe, as well as Washington and Chicago in the US, and Delhi and Cebu in Asia.

With a bulging order book for another 26 medium- and long-haul aircraft, EVA Air, Taiwan’s biggest carrier in terms of weekly ASKs (flag carrier China Airlines is bigger in terms of weekly seats), and the country’s first privately owned international, is poised to add two new European destinations – Barcelona and Milan Malpensa – as well as Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles to its hub operation at Taipei Taoyuan next year. In addition, the Star Alliance member, which was established in 1989, is expected to start services to Delhi in India and Cebu in the Philippines in the next 12 months.

EVA currently flies to the following points non-stop and one-stop in Europe:

Paris CDG – four times weekly 777-300;

Amsterdam (via BKK) – thrice-weekly 777-300;

London Heathrow (via BKK) – daily 777-300;

Vienna (via BKK) – four times weekly A330-200.

Given the fact that three out of four of EVA’s existing European routes fly via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, it is highly likely that Barcelona and Milan will be flown, at least in an initial phase, on a one-stop basis. As Barcelona currently does not have a direct service to the Thai capital it may be keen for that stop to continue. However, at Malpensa the addition of this intermediate halt may well upset the current incumbent Thai Airways, which currently operates the city pair on a thrice-weekly basis with its 747-400 fleet. One slight negative for both suggested European airports is the fact that neither is a Star Alliance stronghold, with IAG/oneworld’s Vueling ruling the roost at Barcelona and Malpensa being dominated by SkyTeam’s Alitalia and easyJet, with the latter’s CEO Carolyn McCall recently telling anna.aero that feeding another carrier “would complicate our main strategy.”

New Asian connections for Spain and Italy

Both European airports do have some direct routes into Asia already (as indicated in the table below), as well as being well-served by the MEB3 (Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) airlines.

New Route Competition to Taipei Existing Asian non-stop connections (Operating airline code)
Barcelona (BCN) None Singapore (SQ)
Milan Malpensa (MXP) None Delhi (AI); Tokyo Narita (AZ); Beijing (CA); Shanghai Pudong (CA);
Hong Kong (CX); Tashkent (HY); Seoul Incheon (KE); Islamabad (PK);
Singapore (SQ), Bangkok (TG).
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 30 November 2015.

EVA’s extensive Asian network will however give the populations of the Barcelona and Milan catchments the opportunity of new one-stop city pair opportunities, primarily in China and Japan (destinations already served direct from Milan in bold, destinations already served direct from Malpensa and Barcelona in bold and underlined).

ChinaBeijing (PEK); Chengdu (CTU); Guangzhou (CAN); Guilin (KWL); Harbin (HRB); Hangzhou (HGH); Hohhot (HET); Jinan (TNA); Shanghai Pudong (PVG); Taiyuan (TYN); Tianjin (TSN); Tunxi (TXN); Zhengzhou (CGO).

Japan – Asahikawa (AKJ); Fukuoka (FUK); Hakodate (HKD); Komatsu (KMQ); Osaka Kansai (KIX); Sapporo Chitose (CTS); Sendai (SDJ); Tokyo Narita (NRT).

OthersBangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK); Hong Kong (HKG); Denpasar (DPS); Hanoi (HAN); Ho Chi Minh City (SGN); Jakarta (CGK); Kuala Lumpur (KUL); Macau (MFM); Manila (MNL); Phnom Penh (PNH); Seoul Incheon (ICN); Singapore (SIN); Surabaya (SUB).

Late last month EVA Air and Boeing finalised an order for up to 24 787-10s and two 777-300s. Valued at more than $8 billion at current list prices, the order marks the largest single commercial aircraft purchase in Taiwan aviation. Signing the deal were EVA Air Chairman K.W. Chang and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. That sort of deal certainly gave Boeing something to dance about!

More US flying – up to 77 weekly frequencies

EVA currently flies to the following non-stop destinations in the US with a total of 53 weekly services, which is expected to be increased to 77 weekly frequencies by year-end 2016:

Los Angeles – thrice-daily 777-300;

San Francisco – double-daily 777-300 – up to thrice-daily by end-2016;

Seattle-Tacoma – daily 777-300;

New York JFK – daily 777-300 – up to double-daily by end-2016;

Houston Intercontinental – four times weekly – up to six times weekly by end-2016

Those of you who were good at math(s) at school will have noticed that the expanded schedule above only totals 69 and not 77. These remaining eight weekly frequencies are presumably to cover the new routes to Dulles and O’Hare – both at an introductory frequency of four times weekly. As both new city pairs are Star Alliance strongholds courtesy of their United Airlines hub status, the transfer traffic beyond Chicago and Washington is naturally expected to contribute to EVA’s forecasts.

Both US airports do again have several direct routes each into Asia already (as indicated in the table below), as well as being well-served by the MEB3 (Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) airlines.

New Route Competition to Taipei Existing Asian non-stop connections (Operating airline code)
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) None Shanghai Pudong (AA; UA); Seoul Incheon (KE; OZ) Beijing (AA; HU; UA);
Hong Kong (CX; UA); Tokyo Narita (AA; JL; NH; UA); Delhi (AI).
Washington Dulles (IAD) None Tokyo Narita (NH; UA); Beijing (CA; UA); Seoul Incheon (KE).
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 30 November 2015.

As with the new European points, EVA’s pan-Asian hub in Taoyuan will give the populations of the Chicago and Washington catchments the opportunity of new one-stop city pair opportunities, again primarily in China and Japan (destinations already served direct from Chicago in bold, destinations already served direct from Chicago and Washington in bold and underlined).

ChinaBeijing (PEK); Chengdu (CTU); Guangzhou (CAN); Guilin (KWL); Harbin (HRB); Hangzhou (HGH); Hohhot (HET); Jinan (TNA); Shanghai Pudong (PVG); Taiyuan (TYN); Tianjin (TSN); Tunxi (TXN); Zhengzhou (CGO).

Japan – Asahikawa (AKJ); Fukuoka (FUK); Hakodate (HKD); Komatsu (KMQ); Osaka Kansai (KIX); Sapporo Chitose (CTS); Sendai (SDJ); Tokyo Narita (NRT).

Others – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK); Hong Kong (HKG); Denpasar (DPS); Hanoi (HAN); Ho Chi Minh City (SGN); Jakarta (CGK); Kuala Lumpur (KUL); Macau (MFM); Manila (MNL); Phnom Penh (PNH); Seoul Incheon (ICN); Singapore (SIN); Surabaya (SUB).

In terms of the new Asian destinations of Delhi and Cebu, the former is served by China Airlines from Taoyuan on a thrice-weekly basis, whereas Cebu is not only unserved from Taipei, but the Philippine city is not currently directly connected to any airport in Taiwan on a scheduled basis. The Indian route will also give EVA the opportunity to link to another Star hub, that of Air India, whereas Cebu is unsurprisingly dominated by non-aligned Cebu Pacific Air (it has nearly twice as many seats as national carrier Philippine Airlines there), so any feed would have to come through local arrangements. Whatever happens, anna.aero’s data elves will ensure that you hear the news first, when any of these six new routes are formally announced.

The key to route expansion. Handing over the keys to EVA Air’s new 777-300ER at Boeing’s delivery centre at Everett, Washington last month was the manufacturer’s VP Jeff Klemann. Receiving the keys were EVA Air president Austin Cheng and EVA Air chairman K.W. Chang, with an on-looking Steven Udvar-Hazy, CEO Air Lease Corp. While this was the 22nd 777-300ER in EVA’s fleet, the new aircraft debuts the Taiwan-based carrier’s new livery design and corporate identity.

The key to route expansion. Handing over the keys to EVA Air’s new 777-300ER at Boeing’s delivery centre at Everett, Washington last month was the manufacturer’s VP Jeff Klemann. Receiving the keys were EVA Air president Austin Cheng and EVA Air chairman K.W. Chang, with an on-looking Steven Udvar-Hazy, CEO Air Lease Corp. While this was the 22nd 777-300ER in EVA’s fleet, the new aircraft debuts the Taiwan-based carrier’s new livery design and corporate identity.


New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.

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