TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) announced on Monday (Jan. 6) it would start operating direct flights to Chiang Mai in June, eyeing a bigger share of the growing tourism market in Thailand.
CAL will offer four flights per week on the route starting June 23, with flights departing from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, reported ETToday.
The move marks another step towards expanding the company’s presence in Southeast Asia following its plans to launch direct flights to the Philippine city of Cebu in March. CAL’s main rival, EVA Air, launched non-stop flights to Chiang Mai in 2018 and is said to be enjoying great success, wrote UDN.
Chiang Mai, the second-largest city in Thailand, boasts a plethora of temples and other cultural heritage. The northern Thai city also prides itself on its traditional cuisine, natural scenery, and attractions such as the jungle zipline adventure, making it a popular tourist destination.
Adding the new destination also reflects CAL's strategy to capitalize on the transfer business. One of Taiwan’s two major air carriers, CAL currently operates flights to 72 destinations, including 15 in Southeast Asia, 16 in South Korea and Japan, 27 in China, and 14 in Europe, the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia combined, reported UDN.