TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s flag carrier China Airlines (CAL) said on Feb. 22 it will suspend non-stop flights between Taipei and Paris by the end of March due to revenue losses on the route.

Eyeing route expansion opportunities, CAL began partnering with Air France to offer direct flights between Taipei and Paris last April, with three codeshare flights a week.

However, CAL later determined that the arrangement was not as profitable as expected because it was responsible for 40 percent of ticket sales, but Air France charged the airline a higher price per ticket than for regular passengers, resulting in mounting losses.

CAL President Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙) said the flights are to be suspended because of cost considerations, but he did not disclose the size of the losses incurred.

CAL’s official website shows March 29 will be the last day the airline operates the flight, and Paris-bound passengers wishing to take CAL will have to transfer in Amsterdam, Holland or Frankfurt, Germany after that day.

According to Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), EVA Air, a rival of CAL, has aviation rights to operate flights from Taiwan to Paris, where CAL wanted to fly but lacks such rights.

As a result, CAL decided to operate codeshare flights with fellow SkyTeam member Air France, in an effort to grow its customer base.

The route was flown by Air France, which announced last year its intention to return to Taiwan after a hiatus of 20 years, flying from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Prior to the CAL-Air France cooperation, EVA Airways was the only carrier to fly the Taipei-Paris route, with one round-trip flight per day, which it has offered since 1993.

EVA’s passenger occupancy rate on the Paris-bound flight is 80-90 percent, with Air France achieving 70-80 percent, CAA data shows.

By Wang Shu-fen and Chung Yu-chen