Ontario International Airport (ONT) welcomed the arrival of China Airlines flight CI24 from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) on Sunday, March 25, marking the start of Ontario’s first nonstop, transoceanic passenger service (above).
China Airlines, which increased flight frequency from four to seven days a week in response to strong customer interest, is marketing Ontario as Southern California’s new gateway to Asia, a reflection of how far the airport has come since its transfer to local control in November 2016.
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 airport for more than 10 million Southern California residents in the Inland Empire, northern Orange County, and eastern Los Angeles County.
More than 4.5 million passengers traveled through ONT last year, a 7% increase over 2016 and its best year since 2010. China Airlines projects 80,000 passengers on the new ONT-TPE route in the first year.
China Airlines’ inaugural flight arrived on time at 1:20 p.m. (PDT) with 298 passengers and crew aboard and was greeted by a water cannon salute and a “Blessing from 3 Princes” celebration. The return flight, #CI23, departed ONT at 3:45 p.m. with 338 passengers and crew members.
The carrier serves the new route with Boeing 777-300ER wide-body aircraft equipped with 358 seats, including 40 in Premium Business Class and 62 in Premium Economy Class.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.
Bottom Copyright Photo: China Airlines Boeing 777-309 ER B-18007 (msn 43982) (Boeing special colors) ONT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941349.
China Airlines aircraft slide show: