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Tigerair Taiwan's first flight to Tokyo arrives at Narita Airport

2015/04/02 12:44:47

Tokyo, April 2 (CNA) The first flight to Tokyo by Tigerair Taiwan (台灣虎航), a budget carrier joint venture between Taiwan's China Airlines and Singapore's Tiger Airways, arrived at Narita International Airport in Japan at around 11 a.m. local time Thursday.

Tigerair Taiwan Chief Executive Officer Kwan Yue said that with ties between Taiwan and Japan getting closer than ever, the carrier kicked off services to Tokyo to tap the growing tourism market.

Kwan said that as the budget carrier market in Northeast Asia is expected to grow, his company is determined to further take advantage of the expansion.

The flight took off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7 a.m. Taipei time, carrying a total of 180 passengers, with a load factor of 100 percent. The carrier uses A320 jets on the new route.

To celebrate, Tigerair Taiwan provided the passengers with gifts containing Japanese-style sweets and wine, while the passengers and flight attendants posed for pictures to remember the moment.

Tokyo is Tigerair Taiwan's fifth international destination, following Singapore, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Macau, since it launched its maiden flight to Singapore Sept. 26, 2014.

The budget carrier said that it spent only six months extending its reach to the Northeast Asian market from the Southeast Asian market.

It offers seven round-trip flights between Taiwan and Narita each week.

The airline said that between April 2 and Aug. 31, the new services will operate every day at 7 a.m. Taipei time, with return flights set for 12:10 p.m. Tokyo time. From Sept. 1, return flights from Tokyo will take off at 9:30 p.m., the carrier said.

Tigerair Taiwan said that the carrier chose the date to launch the Taipei-Tokyo flights because it has high hopes that the ongoing cherry blossom season in Japan will boost demand for its services.

(By Chiu Chun-chin, Yang Ming-chu and Frances Huang)