EVA Airways President Derek Chen (???) said Monday that the recent fall in Chinese group tourists to Taiwan has had little effect on the airline's revenue, and he was "cautiously optimistic" about the carrier's performance in the fourth quarter.
Chen said sales on cross-strait flights generally account for about 11 percent of EVA Air's revenues, and that has not changed much in the third quarter, when travel industry insiders said Taiwan saw a sharp decline in Chinese group tourists.
The company has made adjustments to remain profitable on routes between Taiwan and China, Chen said during a promotional event in Taipei.
In some cases, routes that were not economically viable were canceled while in others the airline adopted smaller aircraft to account for smaller passenger numbers, he said.
The routes suspended included flights between Taichung and Hangzhou, Taichung and Nanjing and Kaohsiung and Qingdao, according to EVA Air.
While the decline in Chinese visitors in recent months has not had a significant impact on EVA Air, whose niche market lies in services to North America, the trend could adversely affect airlines more dependent on travel between Taiwan and China.
According to the latest Tourism Bureau data, nearly 300,000 Chinese nationals visited Taiwan in July, down 15 percent from the same period last year, after roughly 12 percent declines in both May and June.
Industry insiders have suggested that the decline intensified in August and September, but Tourism Bureau figures have yet to be released for those two months.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel