Echoing the New Southbound Policy, Taichung City Tourism and Travel Bureau launched into full promotion of Taichung as a transit point for low-cost airlines. Targeted on cities within 3 to 5 hours of flight time, Taichung City contacted over ten low-cost airlines in the past year. The largest low-cost airline in Vietnam, VieJet, responded to Taichung’s invitation. Flights from Taichung to Ho Chi Minh City will be launched in January next year, and direct flights from Taichung to Bangkok, Thailand are expected to take off at end of February.
The Tourism and Travel Bureau invited Taiwan’s TigerAir, VieJet, Nokscoot and JetStar to visit Taichung. Representatives of Taichung City Tourism and Travel Bureau and Taichung Airport (Civil Aeronautics Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications) briefed the low-cost airlines on Taichung Airport and the City.
In the future, Taichung Airport will position itself as the “center for low-cost airlines” and offer convenience and good services to bring travelers from Asean countries to enter and exit Taiwan from Taichung Airport. The flow of travelers is expected to boost the development of Central Taiwan on a full-scale. In the past year, the City has contacted over ten low-cost airlines to explore the opportunities to develop Asia routes starting from Taichung, said Chen Sheng-Shan, Director-General of Tourism and Travel.
Among the potential airlines, VieJet, the largest low-cost airline of Vietnam, answered the invitation. The airline will launch flights from Taichung to Ho Chi Minh City in January and expects start direct flight service from Taichung to Bangkok, Thailand from end of February. Taiwan’s TigerAir is also expected to enter Taichung next year with the first route from Taichung to Macau, vying for the potential market in Center Taiwan and Asian countries.
Director Chen encourages VietJet to start services for Da Nang and Nha Trang, while the market is warming up. He emphasized that “entering and exiting Taiwan from Taichung” is a key element that links Central Taiwan to other parts of the world, while presenting Taichung to the representatives from the low-cost airlines. The seven counties and cities in Central Taiwan, Taichung, Changhua, Miaoli, Nantou, Yunlin, Chiayi City and Chiayi County, have full potential to attract tourists from the Asean countries. Among the seven million population living in Central Taiwan, a large group of entrepreneurs and friends and families of new migrants currently live in Asean countries. This is a population large enough to form a lucrative market for airlines servicing Central Taiwan. The City also offers discounts for landing in Taichung International Airport and invests tremendous resources and capital in continuous development of the infrastructure. Taichung International Airport is definitely a top choice for low-cost airlines to set up their home bases.
Director of Taichung Airport, Chang Jui-shu, pointed out that several foreign airlines servicing Taichung International Airport have handed out brilliant results in recent years. Airport resources are distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. We will work with Taichung City Tourism and Travel Bureau to help low-cost airlines that are interested in long-term operation in Taichung to develop their businesses.
The Tourism and Travel Bureau revealed that since last year, Taichung has successfully developed 11 international and cross-strait destinations and charter flights servicing Oita and Nagoya will continue to the first half of next year. In the future, we expect to develop these two lines into regular flights and fixed-time charter flights.
Other than bringing in low-cost airlines for the Southeast Asia self-guided travelers, the Tourism and Travel Bureau is also planning to launch the “one flight, multiple stops” mode. Hong Kong Airport is the main transit center for global travelers and hosts numerous flights to and from Singapore and Malaysia. This campaign is designed to attract travelers from Singapore and Malaysia transiting in Hong Kong to add one more stop in their itinerary and the stay in Taiwan can be extended from Taichung into other areas, even Penghu and other remote islands. Taichung City will take a step at a time to expand direct flights between the major metropolitans through active promotion, regional alliance, city exchange and sister city packs.