CAL to launch Tainan-Osaka ser­vices in Oct.

The China Post - - LOCAL -

China Air­lines (CAL, ), one of Tai­wan’s lead­ing in­ter­na­tional car­ri­ers, said Thurs­day that it will launch a Tainan-Osaka route in Oc­to­ber to tap the grow­ing en­thu­si­asm in South­ern Tai­wan to­ward travel to Ja­pan thanks to the Ja­panese yen’s de­pre­ci­a­tion.

CAL said that from Oct. 28, the car­rier will kick off the new regular ser­vices, pro­vid­ing two roundtrip flights be­tween Tainan and Osaka each week. The car­rier said it will use nar­row-body Boe­ing 737-800s on the new route.

From 2013, CAL has been pro­vid­ing char­ter flight ser­vices be­tween Tainan and Hong Kong and the car­rier said the launch of Tainan-Osaka regular flights is ex­pected to boost busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for the tourism in­dus­try in South­ern Tai­wan.

The Ja­pan mar­ket has been one of the most im­por­tant sales sources for CAL as Ja­panese cities such as Osaka and Tokyo are popular des­ti­na­tions for Tai­wanese tourists, mar­ket an­a­lysts said.

The plunge in value of the yen has prompted many lo­cal tourists to take ad­van­tage of the for­eign ex­change gains en­joyed by New Tai­wan dollar users, they said.

Cur­rently, the car­rier pro­vides 21 round trip regular flights be­tween Taipei and Osaka and 12 regular round trip flights be­tween Kaoh­si­ung and Osaka per week. Once the Tainan-Osaka ser­vices are in­au­gu­rated, the num­ber of weekly regular flights of­fered by CAL to Osaka from Tai­wan will rise to 35.

In ad­di­tion to Osaka, CAL has started serv­ing South­ern Tai­wan by pro­vid­ing seven round- trip flights be­tween Kaoh­si­ung and Tokyo per week, seven round- trip flights be­tween Kaoh­si­ung and Ok­i­nawa, and five round-trip flights be­tween Kaoh­si­ung and Hokkaido.

With the new Tainan- Osaka ser­vices, some lo­cal travel agen­cies have un­veiled re­lated tour packages, in­clud­ing a five- day tour of Osaka with a four-night ho­tel stay, which will de­part ev­ery Satur­day, with a start­ing price tag of NT$15,200 (US$492) be­fore tax per per­son.

The pack­age will take tourists to Osaka, as well as neigh­bor­ing Ky­odo and Nara, while a visit to the fa­mous hot spring re­sort Arima On­sen will be in­cluded in the pro­gram, travel agen­cies said.

The agen­cies also said they will of­fer dis­counts on ho­tel stays to Ja­panese vis­i­tors to Tainan, while the Tainan city gov­ern­ment will dis­trib­ute vouch­ers in Osaka to en­cour­age Ja­panese tourists to shop in the South­ern Tai­wan city.

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