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Taiwan's EVA Air says airfares to stay high through mid-2024

Surging demand, low capacity, business costs contribute to higher ticket prices

EVA Air Boeing 787 Dreamliner. (EVA Air photo)

EVA Air Boeing 787 Dreamliner. (EVA Air photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — EVA Air ticket prices will remain high through the first half of 2024 as ridership on most international routes continues to rise while capacity struggles to keep up and various costs increase.

During a Monday (Nov. 27) press conference, EVA Air President Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said passenger demand remains strong. In addition, overall operational capacity has not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, while costs such as labor, catering, and fuel have increased, leading to higher airfares, reported Liberty Times.

According to Sun, passenger demand for the upcoming winter vacation is quite strong with reservation rates in Northeast Asia, especially Japan, exceeding 90% and travel agencies continuing to request more seats, per CNA. In Southeast Asia, amid Thailand's decision to open up visa-free entry, reservation rates remain at a high level.

In addition, with visa fee reductions in Vietnam, reservations for destinations such as Da Nang and other places are also in demand. Long-haul routes have maintained a passenger load factor of 90% throughout the year, and the outlook for the future is "also very promising."

Sun said that global passenger demand continues to recover in the wake of the pandemic. However, the pace of the recovery in the Asia-Pacific region is relatively slower, said Sun.

Executive Vice President of the Corporate Planning Division Liao Chi-wei (廖至維) was cited by CNA as saying higher ticket prices would persist until the first half of next year. Liao added that it may take another year for competitors to recover due to operational constraints and limited operational capacity growth.

In addition, Sun said the airline continues to be optimistic about cargo demand for the coming year driven by e-commerce and AI-related electronic products. He said next year, the company will receive a ninth Boeing 777 Freighter, which will increase cargo capacity and the number of destinations and flights in the Americas and Asia.