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U.S. carrier Delta to launch Taipei-Seattle flights in 2024

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Delta's last Taipei-Tokyo flight takes off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on May 24, 2017. CNA photo

Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) American carrier Delta Air Lines announced its planned launch of non-stop daily flights between its Seattle hub and Taipei (Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport) in June 2024, as the airline expands its Asia network.

"This strategic addition to Delta's trans-Pacific portfolio is poised to make a profound impact on the Seattle market, fostering increased business and leisure travel opportunities for our discerning customers," said the United State-based carrier in a statement dated Dec. 7.

Pending government approval, Delta said it will deploy Airbus A330-900neo planes on the route, with the inaugural flight departing Seattle on June 6, and Taipei the following day.

The new Taipei-Seattle route will mark Delta's return to the Taiwan market, following its cancellation of flights between Taiwan Taoyuan and Narita International Airport in Tokyo in May 2017.

It will also make Delta the second American carrier to operate direct flights between Taiwan and the U.S., after United Airlines, which operates two daily round-trip flights on its Taipei-San Francisco route.

Currently, the Taipei-Seattle route is only served by Taiwanese carrier EVA Airways with 10 weekly flights.

China Airlines' Taipei branch office general manager Solomon Lee (李宜洲) told CNA on Friday that the Taoyuan-based carrier is likely to resume services on the route next year, depending on the delivery of aircraft leased for long-haul flights.

Starlux Airlines, another Taiwanese international carrier, currently plans to launch passenger services on the Taipei-Seattle route in the third quarter of 2024, according to company spokesperson Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維).

Starlux previously announced its plan to expand services between Taiwan and the U.S., and the company will begin services on its second U.S. route between Taipei and San Francisco on Dec. 16.

Delta currently has three non-stop trans-Pacific destinations -- Incheon in South Korea, Naneda in Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai Pudong in China, it said in the statement.

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