China Airlines to discontinue Anchorage-Asia flights

Thursday, March 3, 2011, 20:35 by Aviation Correspondent

China Airlines will cease its services from Anchorage to Taipei from April 29.

This is sad news as the carrier was the last one remaining to offer the regular service between Anchorage and Asia. The remaining two international airlines are Condor Airlines and Edelweiss Airlines offering services to Alaska and Frankfurt and Anchorage and Zurich

From now on travelers from Alaska headed to Japan, China, the Philippines or other destinations across the Pacific will have to fly from Seattle or Los Angeles.  The operations in the route was great advantage to frequent travelers to Asia. But this doesn’t deprive Alaska of anything, Japan Airlines is operating a group of charter flights to both Anchorage and Fairbanks this summer. But the flights are coordinated with a group of tour operators.

The government of Alaska roped in $1 million to China Airlines for increasing the frequency of flights in the route from two to three per week, obviously the state realized the importance of the service. Anchorage International Airport director John Parrott said that China Airlines only operated about 36 of the promised 52 extra flights thus failing to the terms and agreement.

Since most of the flights arrived from New York, seats full, very few or no seats were available from Anchorage. Furthermore the airlines could not afford to hold back any seats since the carrier could make up to three or four times as much money selling a seat from New York to Taipei.

However the authorities were more keen in the North Terminal, where the charters and international flights operate with U.S. Customs is located on the ground floor, maintaining and promoting concessions at the juncture.

Currently the airport is considering other airlines to seal the void left by China Airlines. Officials admit that the local market is not big enough to justify a non-stop flight from Asia to Anchorage. This shows that most of Alaska’s long flight touchdowns should be credited to its geography. People liking the region was gradual and coinciding and that too should come to a halt with TSA.