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Eva Airways is currently the only airline that flies directly to Taipei International Airport from Toronto. (Reuters)
Eva Airways is currently the only airline that flies directly to Taipei International Airport from Toronto. (Reuters)

aviation

Canada, Taiwan reach air travel deal to boost number of flights Add to ...

Canada and Taiwan have struck an air travel deal that will increase the number of permitted flights between the two countries by more than half by November, 2014.

Although Canadian carriers do not currently fly to Taiwan, they will be permitted to make 21 flights a week to that country once the deal comes into effect. As an interim step, the number of permitted flights grew to 17 from 13 this week.

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The same numbers apply to airlines from Taiwan, which fly into Vancouver and Toronto.

Taiwan’s Eva Airways Corp. has three flights weekly to both Toronto and Vancouver from Taipei. Beijing-based Air China Ltd. flies daily to Vancouver from Taipei.

“This arrangement recognizes the ongoing demand for the movement of people and goods between Canada and Taiwan, and reflects a desire to improve upon our strong long-term economic and people-to-people relationships,” Kathleen Mackay, executive director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, said in a statement.

The deal will meet the air transportation needs of Canada and Taiwan for the foreseeable future, Transport Canada said in an e-mail response to questions about the agreement.

Air Canada has no plans to fly to Taiwan, spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said Wednesday, but the new arrangement will make it easier for the airline to code-share with Taiwanese carriers. Air Canada has a finite number of aircraft so it deploys them on its most popular routes, Mr. Fitzpatrick said.

Code-sharing enables different airlines to sell seats on a flight operated by another airline.

The agreement also increases Air Canada’s opportunities to fly to Asia, which already received a boost last month when it was given landing rights at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, which is closer to the centre of Tokyo than suburban Narita Airport, where Air Canada planes fly to now.

Eva Airways belongs to the same Star Alliance grouping as Air Canada. AirTrav Inc., an airline and travel consulting firm in Toronto, said it believes Air Canada will eventually code share with Eva Airways.

“Regardless of a potential code-share agreement with Star partner Eva Airways, Air Canada will likely prefer to connect Taiwan-bound customers over Hong Kong … as it enables Air Canada to capture a majority of an air ticket’s fare (as Air Canada would be operating the trans-Pacific leg of the journey),” AirTrav said in an analysis of the new agreement.

Follow on Twitter: @gregkeenanglobe

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