CHICAGO — With a great fanfare and a festive mood, Chicago becomes the eighth North American gateway for globally awarded Taiwanese carrier EVA Air (BR/EVA). An early arrival due to favorable winds marked the 12-hour long inaugural flight BR56 across the Pacific from Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport to Chicago O’Hare on November 2nd, 2016.
EVA Air’s flagship, the Boeing 777-300ER (B-16727 • MSN 43291 • LN 1412) wearing the airline’s recently revised color scheme and latest interior fittings touched down for the first time in the Prairie State at 14:36 local time, where it was received with a water cannon salute by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).
A special reception took place at its gate in O’Hare’s International Terminal 5, which included live Jazz music, hors d’oeuvres, and representatives from the airline and both Chicago and Taiwan governments.
Chicago becomes the first Midwestern destination for EVA Air and joins Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver in their strong North American network, which provides travelers with one of the largest number of connections available between the continent and Asia.
The Taipei-Chicago flight BR56 is being initially launched with four frequencies per week operated on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays departing Taoyuan at 20:05 local time and arriving O’Hare at 20:55, while the return BR55 will depart O’Hare every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 00:20 local time, arriving back in Taoyuan at 05:00 the following day.
In observance of the inauguration ceremony, the first arrival saw a one-off rescheduling, initially scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 15:50 local time.
One of the approximately 300 passengers onboard this first arrival was EVA Air president Derek Chen, who joined by Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner Ginger Evans and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago Director General Calvin Ho took the podium at the gate and addressed the public, highlighting the strategic importance of adding Chicago to EVA Air’s North American network. The new connection enables flexibility between both cities maximizes commerce between them by enhancing their cooperation in areas of education, innovation, and investment.
With Chicago being added to the network, EVA Air will be offering 80 flights a week between Taipei and North America by the end of 2016, outnumbering the competition in this market, mentions Chen. Mr. Chen has long been associated with EVA Air, its parent company Evergreen Marine, and its sister-airline UNI Air, being regarded as one of the key figures in their success.
Recently awarded with the prestigious 5-star airline rating by SKYTRAX and voted by Travel + Leisure as the 8th best international airline, EVA Air continues to consolidate its presence in the North American market by increasing its flagship Boeing 777-300ER, configured with 333 seats: 39 in its Royal Laurel Business Class, 56 in Elite Premium Economy, and 238 in Economy, with passengers enjoying a state-of-the-art entertainment system and other amenities such as infight Wi-Fi.