Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) Budget airline AirAsia announced Monday it will offer flights between Taoyuan and Osaka starting on Jan. 30, 2019, its first route connecting Taiwan and a Northeast Asian country.
The Taoyuan-Osaka flights will operate as an extension of its existing Kuala Lumpur-Taoyuan service, and will fly every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday through March 30, the airline said.
But the schedule after that date, when the summer schedule begins, is still under review by Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration.
AirAsia said it will also become the first budget airline to operate a wide body Airbus A330-300 on the route.
Thanks to the Fifth Freedom Right, which is being applied to the new service, AirAsia will be able to tap into new markets in Northeast Asia while increasing traffic in its main hub of Kuala Lumpur, the low cost carrier said.
The right refers to the right of an airline to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country, and from that country to a third country.
The carrier said it hopes Taiwan can emerge as one of its important transit hubs to Northeast Asia, especially as the number of outbound tourists from Taiwan to Japan has grown by about 7 percent a year in recent years.
AirAsia currently operates seven routes connecting Taiwan to Southeast Asia -- Taoyuan/Kaohsiung-Kuala Lumpur, Taoyuan-Sabah, Taoyuan-Manila, Taoyuan-Cebu, Taoyuan-Clark and Taoyuan-Chiang Mai.
The airline will also begin Kaohsiung-Manila flights on Tuesday.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel