WATER CANON SALUTE. The inaugural flight of Boeng 777-300ER from Taipei to Chicago was greeted with the customary water canon salute by Chicago firemen as it taxied towards a gate at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. It signaled the opening of a new four-flight-week route between Taipei and Chicago. Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO – The recent opening of the four-time-a-week flights of EVA Air route between Taipei, Taiwan and Chicago, Illinois will generate an estimated $200-million annual windfall for the Chicago metropolitan region, Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner  Ginger S. Evans said.

At the same time, EVA Airways Corp. President Derek Chen told this reporter that EVA Air has 21 flights a week to Manila and seven flights a week to Cebu. “It is possible we will increase flight frequency to Cebu. I would say again, Philippines is a very important market for EVA Air so we will keep on expanding our route to the Philippines.”

Evans, in her welcoming remarks during the inaugural flight by Taipei-based Eva Air to Chicago from Taipei, thanked Chen and EVA Air “for choosing Chicago in bringing your amazing five-star service to O’Hare International Airport.

“We look forward to partnering with EVA Air to offer an exceptional travel experience for visitors to Chicago and Taipei and to many other key markets in Southeast Asia, including in China and other destinations around the world.

“This service strengthens Chicago’s connectivity to Asia and furthers Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vision to increase tourism in Chicago, which is the most American of American cities. It will further strengthen business and cultural ties between Chicago and Taiwan.”

In response, Chen thanked Commissioner Evans for giving EVA Air a warm welcome, saying, “It’s a pleasure to be here at O’Hare International airport in Chicago, the heart of America. This is the gateway to the Midwest, an important market for EVA Air. We look forward to serving Chicago and America’s heartland.

“There are many people traveling from Taiwan every year to work, study or do sightseeing before today. They make at least one stop in another city to get to Chicago. The visitor may take a 12-hour flight from Taipei to Los Angeles and spend a few more hours for transit and take a four-hour connection to Chicago.

“Now, EVA Air is a non-stop ride that takes only about 13 hours. Our new service makes flights easier, faster and more comfortable for passengers. The convenient flight is specially welcomed by many frequent flyers. We are introducing Chicago-to-Taipei service with four flights a week, departing Chicago in the early morning and arriving in Taipei early the next day.   

“Passengers can schedule meetings in the morning in Taiwan and enjoy a full day of sightseeing or take an easy connection to major destination throughout Asia and China. They can be in Bangkok, Thailand, Manila, Ho Chi Min, Hong Kong or Shanghai in time for lunch.”

Chen, who was on board the inaugural Chicago-bound trip, said, “Chicago EVA Air is a gateway in North America. We now offer better flight with one-stop connection throughout Asia or China than any other airline. At the end of this year, we are operating 80 flights a week between North America and Taipei.

“Taipei and Chicago have a lot in common. Our two regions share deep appreciation for art, education, innovation quality product and hard work.  We are both known to have the best of foods in our region. We want our flights to be abridged to increase the number of visitors and further enhance economic, cultural and educational exchanges and more developments.”