The first China Airlines aircraft to fly to the UK on the airline’s new non-stop route from Taiwan arrived at Gatwick on December 1.
Having started its journey at Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) at 08:55 local time, the Airbus A350-900 undertook a 13-hour journey to arrive at London’s Gatwick airport.
The first flight marks the start of the only non-stop service between Taiwan and the UK, and marks China Airlines’ return to the UK after a five-year hiatus. The aircraft was greeted by water cannons on arrival to mark the occasion.
Nuan-Hsuan Ho, Chairman of China Airlines said: “We’re delighted to be back in the UK this year, with the inaugural flight marking the ease of travel between the UK and Taiwan.
“As the only non-stop service between the two countries, we want to highlight to travellers the benefits to travelling to Taipei, for business or leisure purposes. In addition, our extensive route network offers destinations throughout Asia and onward to Australia for British travellers to enjoy.”
The aircraft departed Gatwick on Friday evening following a reception at the airport attended by guests including Chairman Ho of China Airlines; Ambassador David Lin, Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK; Lord Faulkner of Worcester, the Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Taiwan; Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer for London Gatwick Airport; and the Right Honourable Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Trade & Investment.
The China Airlines A350-900 carries up to 306 passengers, with a three-class configuration available: Premium Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. The flight departs four times per week from Gatwick’s South Terminal, increasing to five times per week in March 2018.