Jun 09, 2017 General Comments Off on Air Canada’s flight relaunch to boost Taiwan-Canada relationship
Taipei--The resumption of Air Canada flights between Taipei and Vancouver on Friday marks an important breakthrough in relationship between the two countries, said Mario Ste-Marie, executive director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei.
"This is a real milestone in our bilateral relationship," Ste-Marie said during a celebration of Air Canada's inaugural flight on the route, which had a 96 percent passenger load, after a 14-year hiatus.
The air link has come at a perfect time, he said, as inbound and outbound tourist travel between Taiwan and Canada has continued to surge over the years.
According to Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, 37,822 Canadians traveled to Taiwan and 27,478 Taiwanese went to Canada in the first four months of 2017, an 8.8 percent and 9.4 percent year-on-year growth, respectively.
In addition to tourism, the new flights will provide greater options for those visiting relatives and friends on both sides, Ste-Marie said.
Taiwan is home to the fourth-largest Canadian community living outside of Canada, with roughly 60,000 Canadians living in Taiwan, according to Ste-Marie.
Meanwhile, 260,000 Taiwanese are living in Canada, showing the strong people-to-people ties between the two countries, he said.
Timothy Liu, senior director of Air Canada's Commercial Strategy, said he hopes to promote the airline as not only a gateway to Canada but also to North America.
The carrier has an extensive network across the continent, which gives it a competitive edge over the two Taiwanese carriers that are also eyeing greater market presence in the region.
China Airlines and EVA Airways have announced that they will add extra flights to take their services to Vancouver from five to seven per week from June 13 and 15, respectively.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel