ONTARIO, Calif. – September 29, 2017 – In a highly anticipated announcement, China Airlines said today it will launch non-stop passenger service between Taiwan and Ontario International Airport (ONT), continuing the airport’s dramatic rise in prominence as Southern California’s new global gateway.
China Airlines will operate its trans-oceanic service between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and ONT four times a week beginning in Spring 2018.
“China Airlines is the first Asian carrier to introduce regular services to Ontario. This will also be the second route to offer direct services between Taiwan and the Greater Los Angeles region of California after China Airlines began flying to Los Angeles in 1971. Flight frequency will be increased to one flight a day during the peak season depending on market demand,” said Nuan-Hsuan Ho, Chairman of China Airlines.
“Today’s development is a monumental step in ONT’s evolution toward becoming just the second trans-oceanic gateway airport in the history of Southern California, and equally impressive is that it occurred within a year of the airport’s transition to local control,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the Ontario International Airport Authority and Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario.
“We have been working tirelessly for months to finalize this historic agreement and are eager to welcome China Airlines’ passengers and crew members with the hospitality and exceptional customer experience that will be the hallmarks of a committed airport partner and grateful community that will not soon forget and will never take for granted the first airline to invest in ONT as a gateway to Asia,” Wapner added.
TPE is the primary International gateway airport for the New Taipei–Keelung–Taoyuan City metro area, with more than 9 million residents, while ONT is the closest and most convenient international gateway airport for more than 10 million Southern California residents in the Inland Empire, northern Orange County, and eastern Los Angeles County.
China Airlines will be the first carrier to offer non-stop, trans-oceanic passenger service to ONT that is projected to carry more than 80,000 passengers annually in each direction between Taiwan and Southern California. The airline will serve the route with Boeing 777-300ER wide-body aircraft equipped with 358 seats, including 40 in Premium Business Class and 62 in Premium Economy Class.
“We have been in a state of almost non-stop promotion of ONT as the next great international airport in Southern California,” said San Bernardino County Supervisor and OIAA Commissioner Curt Hagman, who has traveled to Asia frequently in the past year along with Mr. Wapner, to encourage airlines to initiate international passenger service to Ontario.
“Airlines now recognize that we not only have the infrastructure to support their operations, but will make the improvements necessary to manage increasing demand for international air travel to Southern California,” said Hagman.
The initiation of air service is the outgrowth of a memorandum of agreement between the OIAA and TPE memorialized this past July to work toward the development of passenger and cargo services between TPE and ONT; as well as a sister city agreement signed last February between Taoyuan City and San Bernardino County to foster economic development opportunities between the two regions.