Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab, says the transit traffic EVA routes though Taipei mostly consists of passengers from Southeast Asia travelling to North America. He says the airport operator has been working to make Taoyuan more attractive for transferring passengers and assist airlines to reduce connection times.
A complication to transfers at Taoyuan is that many airlines in the same alliance are located in different terminals. The airport is working on plans to build a third, larger terminal to which EVA and China Airlines are lobbying to move along with their respective alliance partners. EVA says it “has a strong will to migrate our ground service from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3. Terminal 2 is not enough. Construction of Terminal 3 is going to be become an increasingly important and urgent issue in the future.”
Lin says the new terminal will be designed to accommodate alliances and cater to transit traffic, whereas the first two terminals were originally designed for point-to-point traffic. He says Phase 1 of the new terminal, scheduled to open in 2018, will be able to accommodate 15 million passengers a year, and that the terminal capacity will increase to 43 million passengers when a new concourse and more parking bays are added in the second phase.
Terminal 3's preliminary design is due to be completed this year, and by early next year the airport authority plans to conduct an international competition for the detailed design. “We hope that by the end of 2014 or no later than 2015's first quarter, we will begin construction,” Lin says.
Taiwan would be well-located as a transit point for passengers from mainland Chinese planning to travel to the U.S., but the Chinese authorities still prohibit their citizens from transiting through Taipei, even though Taiwanese authorities allow Taiwanese nationals to transit through mainland China with no restrictions. China Southern Airlines has been particularly aggressive in its pricing in an effort to attract Taiwanese to transfer at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on their way to Europe.
EVA President Austin Cheng says he hopes that Chinese and Taiwanese authorities can reach an agreement whereby mainland Chinese will be permitted to transit easily through Taipei, which would give a huge boost to Taoyuan's ambition to be a major international air hub.
Density of Routes in Major Markets (based on passengers carried, 2012)
|Region|| More than 1 Million Passengers (%)||100,000-1 Million Passengers (%)||10,000-100,000 Passengers (%)||Fewer than 10,000 Passengers (%)|
|Source: AmadeusThe relatively small number of high-density routes in Europe and North America indicates there is a particular need for hubs. Asia is less dependent on feeder services because of the many large local markets.|