CAL to offer once-weekly Taipei-London flights in July

Taipei-based China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan's two major carriers, will offer one direct weekly round-trip flight between Taipei and London in July. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taipei-based China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan’s two major carriers, will offer one direct weekly round-trip flight between Taipei and London in July, the airline announced on Monday.

CAL said in a statement that the flights will leave from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei on Friday and depart for Taipei from Heathrow Airport in London on Saturday during the July 3-31 period.

The flights are aimed at helping travelers flying between the two cities amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has driven countries across the world to adopt border controls and travel restrictions, resulting in flight cancellations by many aviation companies.

CAL, which operated four weekly Taipei-London flights using Gatwick Airport prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, said their three other flights to that destination have been converted to cargo flights only in response to a large drop in the number of passengers.

The Taipei-London flights will temporarily use Heathrow rather than Gatwick during the period between June 19 and Oct. 24 because most of Gatwick will be closed for refurbishment from July 1 to Oct. 24, the airline said.

As some countries have eased movement restrictions with the COVID-19 pandemic showing signs of ebbing, CAL said it will also add flights to destinations in other parts of the world next month, including Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.