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Can scheduled cross-Strait air services deliver rich rewards?


The first half of 2010 is shaping up as a critical period for cross-Strait air service expansion. Carriers on both sides remain hopeful that there will be further progressive liberalisation of access arrangements on the route, to enable carriers to capitalise on the massive market potential for business and leisure travel between the two markets. Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director General, Lee Lung-wen, has recently stated Taiwan hopes to double direct services to Mainland China from the current 270 to more than 540 weekly services, although a timeframe was not disclosed. If this were to occur, it would represent another significant step up in capacity between the two and further re-shape aviation traffic flows and strategy in North Asia. [5669 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Taiwan-China free trade deal crucial
  • Massive increase in capacity in Aug-2009
  • A much-anticipated process
  • 1.3 million cross-Strait passengers in 2009
  • Cross-Strait routes only profitable routes in Taiwan’s aviation industry during 2009
  • Business passengers comprise 80% of EVA’s cross-Strait passengers; China Airlines sees China as the ‘Golden Route’
  • Cross-Straits travel rush underway over Chinese New Year
  • Taiwanese carriers handled 22.3 million passengers in 2009, with an average load factor of 76.2%
  • Taiwan stands out with international tourism receipt and passengers growth in 2009
  • Taiwan: A restricted aviation market
  • Lack of LCCs in the Taiwanese market
  • Cross-Straits perfect timing for Mainland and Taiwanese carriers, but not so good for Hong Kong and Macau
  • Macau remains overly dependent on China-Taiwan transit traffic
  • Hong Kong “significantly and adversely” affected
  • Outlook: Warming of relations with Mainland to benefit aviation industry

Graphs and data:

  • Development of cross-Strait passenger services (weekly) and cargo services (monthly): Nov-2008 to 2H2010
  • CAAC cross-Strait service frequency allocations: Aug-2009
  • CAAC cross-Strait service cargo frequency allocations: Aug-2009
  • Taiwan Airlines’ expanded cross-Strait agreement
  • Cross-Strait capacity share (seats)
  • Cross-Strait liberalisation process: 2003 to 2009
  • Taiwan-China traffic results by route: 2009
  • EVA Air and China Airlines passenger and cargo yield growth: Jan-2007 to Dec-2009
  • EVA Air and China Airlines passenger and cargo growth: Jan-2009 to Dec-2009
  • Number of operations at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport: Dec-2001 to Dec-2009
  • International capacity to/from Taiwan (Taiwan, China Mainland, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR airlines in blue): Feb-2010
  • Spring Festival 2010
  • 2009 traffic statistics for Taiwan
  • Total passenger numbers by Taiwan-based carriers: 2000 vs 2009
  • International Tourist Arrivals and International Tourism Receipts for Taiwan: 1Q2008 to 3Q2009
  • International tourist arrivals to Taiwan: Jan-2008 to Dec-2009
  • LCC capacity share (%) to/from Taiwan: 2001 to 2009  
  • Taiwan’s rail and highway networks
  • Taiwan’s railway network: 2010
  • Taiwan’s highway network: 2010
  • Air Macau weekly services to/from Taiwan: Feb-2010
  • Macau International Airport passenger traffic and traffic growth: 1997 to 2009
  • Macau visitor arrivals by air by country of residence: Dec-2009
  • Cathay Pacific/Dragonair weekly services to/from Taiwan: Feb-2010
  • Hong Kong visitor arrivals by air by country of residence: Dec-2009
  • Hong Kong International Airport passenger traffic and traffic growth: 1998 to 2009
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