The up-and-coming Taiwanese carrier EVA Air added Milan (MXP) to its list of European destinations on Tuesday and established the first non-stop flight between Taiwan and Italy. The 14-hour flight from Taipei (TPE) will operate twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday (with return flights on Wednesday and Sunday) and will be serviced by a Boeing 777-300ER until November 12th, when the airline will switch to using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The move comes as EVA Air looks to expand its flight network and capture some of the business from the well-trafficked route.
The decision to add Milan to the list of destinations that it serves is no doubt a very deliberate one for EVA Air; the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (Enac) reports that over 75,000 people traveled between Italy and Taiwan in 2019 alone. Demand for the route dropped sharply in 2020 and 2021, but aviation enthusiasts are optimistic that it will resume its normal trend as the industry rebounds from the pandemic. Operating a flight on this route represents a prime business opportunity, and EVA Air is ready to capitalize on it.
A well-connected airline
Photo: EVA Air
Founded in 1989, EVA Air stands for Evergreen Airways and is one of Taiwan’s two major airlines alongside the country’s flag carrier, China Airlines. The carrier operates flights to over 40 international destinations, but its flight network is primarily concentrated around Asia. Some of its popular destinations include Beijing (PEK), Seoul (ICN), Hong Kong (HKG), Bangkok (BKK), and Singapore (SIN). The airline is privately owned.
The addition of a new route is a welcome change to the carrier’s catalog, marking EVA Air’s fifth European destination. Some of the airline’s other popular European destinations include Amsterdam (AMS), London Heathrow (LHR), Paris (CDG), and Vienna (VIE). Travelers from Germany can also expect Munich (MUC) to be added to that list in November of this year as the carrier looks to expand its reach from East and Southeast Asia into Europe.
A potential future transit hub
The new route also comes at the perfect time as demand for travel continues to recover from when it was at its lowest point during the pandemic. Combined with the four existing routes that EVA Air already serves and the upcoming one to Munich, the flight to Milan positions Taipei as a potential future transit hub for travelers to East and Southeast Asia. Such travelers will thus find themselves bringing increased economic activity to Taiwan, benefiting not only EVA Air but also other Taiwanese businesses as well.
With the introduction of a new flight from Taipei to Milan, EVA Air has positioned itself as a serious player in the Eurasian travel industry. Its decision follows a trend of rapid expansion that is helping it build a strong and interconnected network of flights and capitalizes on a popular route. In addition, the move may help transform Taiwan into a transit hub for travelers to East and Southeast Asia and bring greater economic activity to the region.