Taiwan’s flag carrier began operations as a charter airline in 1959 and commenced international flights in 1961 and domestic flights a year later. In 1970 they stretched across the Pacific to serve San Francisco. The airline steadily grew as it invested in the latest aircraft. China Airlines are one of two airlines to provide a round-the-world service, via New York and Amsterdam; the other being Air New Zealand. Due to political tensions with mainland China, China Airlines was forced to operate some routes with its Mandarin Airlines subsidiary but relations have normalised and in 2008 the airline began direct flights across the Taiwan Straits to the People’s Republic. The airline innovatively provides free bus services to and from flights in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The short distance flight between Hong Kong and Taiwan is so lucrative the airline calls it ‘the Golden Route’ and operate 747’s on it. China Airlines have steadily moved upmarket and in 2011 the carrier joined the Sky Team club of airlines. In 2013 the airline launched services between Sydney and Auckland.
China Airline provides exceptional on-board service by attractively attired younger flight attendants. Crew are highly professional and immaculately presented. Their uniforms are sophisticated with a modern Asian feel about it. Staff tend to be formal and passengers are unlikely to find any crew gossiping in the galley or flicking through magazines. Staff are attentive and on long flights they will be regularly circulating the flight dispensing drinks. Requests for assistance result in help. In short, the service is nearly perfect. While staff may be bi-lingual they are however unlikely to speak European languages other than English.
China Airlines has an extensive global network and covers China, Japan and eastern Asia comprehensively. On many routes China Airlines provide the best possible connections of any airline, such as international flights to Okinawa in Japan or between Sydney and Sapporo and many cities in mainland China are best served directly by China Airlines. The airline also operates stress-free connections to Taiwan’s second city, Kaohsiung. If you are connecting in Taipei, passengers can relax in the knowledge they will doing so in one of the world’s most efficient and reliable airports. It’s a good place to pick up your duty free. Their free bus service to and from connecting US airports is a huge convenience.
Not only is China Airlines one of the best quality airlines in the sky, but it manages to provide a superior service at a very competitive price. Many bargain hunters are drawn to the airline for its sometimes cheap fares and then spend years telling friends and family what an excellent experience they had on the airline. While the airline is sometimes very cheap it is usually not the cheapest, but paying the little extra is definitely money well spent. Service is better and the airline’s seamless transfers through Taipei can take the headache out of travel. Connecting passengers should also take advantage of an eye-opening trip to Taiwan if they have time.
The term gourmet does not adequately describe China Airline’s First and Business class catering. It is truly mouth wateringly sumptuous and comparable to the best in the sky. China Airline’s premium class catering genuinely seems like it has been couriered straight from a sophisticated restaurant while Economy meals are generous, tasty and thoughtfully created. Even on short flights between Taiwan and Hong Kong the meal service is more than adequate. Together with scrumptious cuisine, the airline has a suitably impressive wine service to match. Cutlery and porcelain are of the finest quality and meals are attractively presented by polite and efficient staff.
By the end of 2012 China Airlines video on demand entertainment system Dynasty Sky will be comprehensively installed throughout the airlines larger aircraft. The system provides an extensive selection of movies, games, TV shows and entertainment choices in Mandarin Chinese, English and Japanese. China Airlines entertainment products in Japanese surpass any available on Japanese carriers! Their Dynasty in-flight magazine is quite an interesting read.
The airline provides the best available ground services and was an early proponent of internet check-in. Check-in times are short, service is high and any ticketing issues or service delays are taken extremely seriously and promptly resolved. Baggage services are the best possible. Transfers between flights are so efficient missing bags are simply unheard of. The airline is generous with its baggage policy and turns a blind eye to the odd excess baggage.
Premium passengers are King, on China Airlines. Premium cabins are spacious, relaxing and beautifully appointed. Selected aircraft have First Class while all flights have Business which is called Dynasty Class. Dynasty Superior seats have lie flat beds and are extremely spacious while Dynasty have slightly smaller space. VIP Lounges are luxuriously appointed and definitely make members feel exclusive. Premium passengers usually board the aircraft through their own separate aerobridges even in airports which don’t typically provide this service.
When comparing airfares if China Airlines is a little more expensive than others, it us worth it. Seats are spacious, comfortable, entertainment is excellent, food is generous while being delicious and staff are attractive and attentive. On top of this connections are efficient, the airline is punctual and baggage allowances tend to be higher than others. A China Airlines Economy flight is a memorable experience for all the right reasons.
Like most frequent flyer programmes China Airline’s Dynasty Flyer programme will only be of real use to very frequent travellers. Those who travel a lot will advance through the higher tiers of the scheme and receive extra special treatment and recognition. The airline’s 2011 admission to Sky Team means Dynasty Flyer members can earn flights on partner airlines the world over.
China Airline’s has a very good Corporate Culture which helps explain the growth and profitability of the airline. The airline sets high standards for all staff including management who typically provide a good example. While Western legacy airlines typically have management-worker problems which result in staff resentment, China’s Airlines workers display obvious pride in wearing their designer uniforms and are recognised by management for delivery the excellent service that they do.
China Airline’s history is frequented by a large number of accidents and incidents, some of them undeniably of the airlines making. However in recent years the airline’s priority has focused on aircraft maintenance improvement and safety. The improvement in the airlines standards was demonstrated in their last aircraft loss in 2007. Flight CA120 taxied to the gate at Naha airport (Japan) as a fuel line was rupturing. It quickly caught fire before the five year old 737 exploded, with no injuries. Boeing was blamed for the incident which resulted in a worldwide check on aircraft. Tragedy was avoided by the quick action and professionalism of the crew who took a mere 90 seconds to evacuate the aircraft. The airline’s handling of passengers after the affair was extemporary.
One of the best airlines in the sky offering fantastic value with excellent service and customer care.
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