China Airlines B-18906 A350-900. Photo: Max Langley/Airways

China Airlines Launches Seattle-Taipei Nonstop Connection

DALLAS — China Airlines (CI) announced that it will resume flights between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Previously, the airline offered four weekly nonstop flights between Taipei and Seattle from 2004 through 2008 but pulled out due to soaring fuel costs. The service will commence on July 14, 2024, with five weekly flights and comes as demand for flights between the United States and Asia bounces back this upcoming summer.

The Emerald City will be the airline's sixth nonstop route from North America. The airline currently offers more than 111,000 return seats per month. Cl already operates nonstop flights between Taipei and several other North American airports, including New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Ontario International Airport (ONT), and Vancouver International Airport (YVR). 

Ryan Calkins, Port of Seattle Commissioner, celebrated the announcement, stating, "It's an exciting time for international travel in and out of SEA, and we look forward to working with China Airlines on this new service. The strong interest we're seeing from airline partners in SEA Airport is a testament to the diversity and opportunities we have in this region. We'll continue to do the work to meet the travel demand and customer needs."

The new route will operate five times weekly and will be operated by an Airbus A350-900 aircraft outfitted with 32 lie-flat business class seats, 31 seats in premium economy, and 243 seats in economy class. The outbound flight will depart Taiwan on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, while the return flight will leave Seattle on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The Taipei-Seattle nonstop will follow the following schedule: 

  • TPE to SEA: CI022, 23:30-19:50 (11 hours, 20-minute block time, same-day arrival)
  • SEA to TPE: CI021, 01:40-05:05 +1 (12 hours, 25-minute block time)

Eva Air (BR) is the sole carrier operating the Taipei-Seattle route. However, it will be a different story over the next few months as four airlines vie for passengers on the route sector. Aside from China Airlines, Delta Air Lines (DL) will begin a daily nonstop flight between the two cities on June 6, 2024. Moreover, Starlux Airlines (JX) will launch three weekly flights between Taipei and Seattle in August.

China Airlines B-18918 Airbus A350-900 (Carbon Livery)
China Airlines B-18918 Airbus A350-900(Carbon Livery) | Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways

Long-haul Expansion from Seattle 

Seattle-Tacoma has a well-connected route network across the United States and several long-haul services from around the globe, especially from Asia and the Middle East. Today, Seattle offers nonstop flights to 30 international destinations and is served by 25 airlines. In June 2023, SEA welcomed a new long-haul service from Air Tahiti Nui (TN) to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). In May 2024, Lufthansa (LH) will begin nonstop service to Munich International Airport (MUC). 

Singapore Airlines (SQ) operates the longest nonstop service from SEA, with a nonstop flight from Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN). An Airbus A350-900 operates the flight and takes over 13 hours to complete. SEA also boasts nonstop flights to multiple destinations across Asia, including Seoul, South Korea (operated by Asiana (OZ), Korean Air (KE), and Delta Air Lines), Tokyo Narita (Japan Airlines (JL)), and Tokyo Haneda (All Nippon Airways (NH) and Delta Air Lines) in Japan and Shanghai, China (operated by Delta Air Lines).

Seattle is also well connected with routes throughout the Middle East with nonstop flights to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (operated by Emirates—EK); Doha, Qatar (Qatar Airways—QR); and Istanbul, Turkey (Turkish Airlines—TK).

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