In early September we learned that Taipei-based China Airlines was “studying” adding flights to Ontario, California. The logic seemed to be that there’s a large Taiwanese population East of Los Angeles, and on top of that the airport is offering subsidies in hopes of attracting longhaul flights.
Given how much talk there always is in the airline industry, I wasn’t expecting this to actually come to fruition. To my surprise, just a few weeks later the airline announced their intentions to add 4x weekly Boeing 777-300ER flights between the two cities as of spring 2018. However, an official start date hasn’t yet been announced for the service.
For those of you who just can’t wait to fly nonstop between Taipei and Ontario, it looks like you’ll have a one-off opportunity to do so. China Airlines has scheduled a one-time flight between Taipei and Ontario on January 25, 2018. The flight will operate with the following schedule, per @airlineroute:
CI2024 Taipei to Ontario departing 11:40PM arriving 7:15PM
CI2023 Ontario to Taipei departing 10:35PM arriving 5:00AM (+2 days)
Given that Ontario Airport doesn’t presently have any longhaul passenger flights, I suspect this is intended to be a test run for the airline and the airport, to get any kinks worked out before the route actually launches.
What’s cool is that this flight will be flown just like any other passenger flight, even though it’s a one-off. I could be completely wrong, but I imagine the flight will be extremely empty in both directions.
If you do want to take the flight, award availability is wide open. There are at least eight business class award seats in both directions — I suspect there are significantly more than that, but that’s the most they’ll display at once.
This should be bookable with miles from most China Airlines partners, including Delta SkyMiles.
If I didn’t already have travel plans over those dates, I’d probably book myself on this. I love China Airlines business class, but even more than that I’d book it because I’m curious to see what exactly happens when they “test out” a new route like this.