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EVA Airways, Shanghai To Promote Flights Ahead Of Expo

2009. 29 October

by Alex Pevzner
( EVA Airways Corp. (2618.TW) is working with Shanghai's government to promote flights between North America and the Chinese city ahead of the Expo 2010 Shanghai, in the hope of capturing a bigger share of the North American market and expanding cross-strait travel, EVA Executive Vice-president K.W. Nieh said Thursday.

The supply of nonstop flights between North America and China falls short of demand, Nieh said, adding EVA, which operates 42 weekly flights to North America as well as cross-strait flights, could help fill some of the extra demand.

"We didn't have this market before (cross-strait) direct flights," Nieh said.

Nieh said the Expo 2010 Shanghai, which runs from May until October next year, will attract 70 million visitors, one-tenth of them from overseas.

Taiwan and China started direct chartered flights in December and upgraded them to scheduled direct flights on Aug. 31. EVA, Taiwan's second-largest airline by revenue after China Airlines Ltd., and affiliate UNI Airways Corp. operate more than 50 direct flights per week to China.

EVA will work with the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration and North American, Chinese and Taiwanese travel agencies to arrange trips from North America to China using Taipei as a hub. The company will use the Expo 2010 Shanghai to promote the flights.

EVA President James Jeng said the promotion could boost the company's passenger load factor next year by two to three percentage points.

In the January-September period EVA's load factor dropped to 76.80% from 79.73% a year earlier. Revenue dropped 26.9%.