Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Taiwan's Green Army- EVA Air

EVA Air, Taiwan’s second largest carrier, carries the color of green as its background color. The airline was founded in 1989 by the airlines’ parent company-Evergreen Group. But it was until 1991 when the airline launches its first flight. Apart from passenger service, EVA Air has entered into air cargo business, aircraft maintenance service and airline catering service. The airline is based at Taiwan’s largest airport-Taipei Taoyuan Airport, together with its rival Taiwan’s flag carrier-China Airlines. The airline operates from Taoyuan Airport’s Terminal 2. Besides, the carrier has some of its operations at Kaohsiung International Airport, Taiwan’s second largest airport. While Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport serves a transit point for most of its European service.

On March 28 2012, Star Alliance announced that EVA Air will officially be a new number of the world’s largest alliance. Joining the alliance allows EVA Air to further expands its network and offer more destinations to its passengers. Since the announcement, EVA Air has signed a couple codeshare agreements with Star Alliance. The latest agreement is with United Airlines, placing EVA Air’s code on United Airlines’ domestic services from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

At the beginning of the year, EVA Air signed an extra order of 3 Boeing 777-300ER, while leasing another additional 4 Boeing 777-300ER to replace the 7 older Boeing 747-400s aircraft. The less-competitive Boeing 747s has to be replaced due to safety and fuel consumption issues. These older aircraft which has joined the fleet since 1998 will be retired or converted to a freighter aircraft. 15 Airbus 321 aircraft which was ordered last year aims to replace the older MD-90 aircraft and expands its Asia network especially to mainland China after regular scheduled operations are allowed. The newest members of the airlines’ fleet are the 3 Airbus 330-300, which has just joined the airline last year. These 3 aircrafts are the aircrafts with the famous Hello Kitty livery on the aircraft’s fuselage. The carrier’s other aircrafts include the Airbus 330-200s aircrafts which has joined the airline since 2003 and also the Boeing 777-300ERs aircrafts has joined since 2005.

EVA Air has collaborated with Sanrio to decorate a fleet of three Airbus 330-300 aircrafts with Hello Kitty livery. “Magic Jet” makes a landing at Taipei Taoyuan Airport.

EVA Air’s Fleet:
Aircraft: In Service: Orders: Seats:
Laurel Elite Economy Total:
Airbus 321-200 --- 15 --- --- --- ---
Airbus 330-200 11 --- 24 --- 228 252
Airbus 330-300 3 --- 30 --- 279 309
Boeing 747-400 3 --- 36 56 280 372
Boeing 747-400M 4 --- 28 86 162 276
Boeing 777-300ER 15 7 38
312 (1)
318 (11)
338 (3)
McDonnell Douglas MD-90 6 --- 12 --- 140 152

Total: 42 7

EVA Air Cargo’s Fleet:
Aircraft: In Service:
Boeing 747-400F 9
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 7
Total: 16

The carrier has its own regional and domestic subsidiary named Uni Air. The carrier which is the largest domestic flights carrier in Taiwan operates a fleet of Bombardier Dash Q300 aircrafts and McDonnell Douglas MD-90 aircrafts. The airline focuses mainly on domestic operations mainly between Taiwan’s main island and the islands of Kinmen, Makung and Matsu Islands. In this few years, the airline has started flights to regional destinations in China, Korea and Japan. There are plans by EVA Air to turn Uni Air into a low-cost carrier as Taiwan is a few countries in Asia that does not have a low-cost carrier. Well, the idea of turning it into a low-cost carrier is certainly an interesting one, as foreign low-cost carrier has find the Taiwan market a profitable one.

EVA Air’s subsidiary-UNI Air recently just introduced a new livery. 

EVA Air serves 60 international destinations together with its subsidiary Uni Air. The carrier operates quite a high frequency to long-haul destinations. EVA Air operates up to 45 weekly flights to 6 North American destinations and operates up to 17 weekly flights to 4 European destinations. Interestingly, Seattle and Paris is the only North America and Europe destination without any competition by either China Airlines or any other airline. While in Asia, EVA Air competes with China Airlines and other international airlines in almost all of its destinations served.

International Destinations:
North America Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York
Europe London, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna
Oceania Brisbane, Guam
South Asia Jakarta, Denpasar-Bali, Surabaya, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Manila
Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Osaka-Kansai, Nagoya, Sendai, Sapporo, Komatsu, Fukuoka
South Korea & Hong Kong Seoul-Incheon, Seoul-Gimpo, Hong Kong
China* Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao, Jinan, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Shanghai-Pudong, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Yancheng, Ningbo, Huangshan, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Guilin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macao, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Haikou
*Include destinations served by Uni Air    

EVA Air’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the “Green Waves” livery take off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport. 

The airlines’ cargo division is one of the top 10 largest cargo companies in the world. With a fleet of 16 aircraft, EVA Air Cargo operates up to 111 weekly cargo flights to cargo destinations like Anchorage, Brussels, Frankfurt, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta. The airline is considered as one of the safest airline in the world as the airline does not suffer any fatalities in its operational history.

Despite having lots of difficulties the airline faces, it’s fair to say the airline weathered the storm well. The airline faces natural disasters like Typhoon and earthquake which hits Taiwan annually, uncertain political status of Taiwan which limits the airlines expansion plans and the sudden spread of disease like SARS and H5N1 virus, but still the carrier stands firmly and continues to fly passengers from different countries around the world with new aircrafts replacing old and aging aircrafts. In future, cross-strait flights to China will definitely be one of the main focuses for EVA Air as regulators allows more passenger services between the two countries.

(The Editor)