BY Kai-Chin Shih / 12 JUNE 2014/ TAIPEITAIWAN/ talkairlines.wordpress.com
This is the second part of a two-part trip report. For the first part, click here.
Airline: China Airlines 中華航空公司/チャイナエアライン
Flight: CI221 (CI221便)
Aircraft: B-18306 Airbus A330-300 (313-seat Short Haul Configuration Business Class/C: 36 Economy Class/Y: 277)
Class Type: Economy Class
Seat: 07K (Exit Row Window Seat)
Origin: Tokyo Haneda International Airport 東京羽田國際空港/東京羽田國際機場
Destination: Taipei Songshan (Matsuyama) International Airport 台北松山國際空港/台北松山國際機場
Date: 12 June, 2014
ATD: 02:56 PM JST
ATA: 05:12 PM TST
At 14:05, the boarding process of CI221 began at gate 111. After having my tickets checked, I took the escalator down to the 2nd floor, where the jet bridge is connected to. All jet bridges at Haneda Airport’s International Terminal are glass jet bridges. They are much more visually appealing than the normal jet bridges and can allow passengers to take pictures while boarding the plane.
Boarding process was rather speedy. The load factor was high and approximately 60% of the passengers were Taiwanese. The Airbus A330-300 we were flying on, B-18306 (MSN675), was delivered in mid-2005. Despite the age, the cabin was still in great condition with comfortable seats and a clean environment. Each seat in Economy Class has a 6.5-inch personal TV screen and an 110V outlet. The seats also feature multi-position headrests to provide passengers a better resting experience.
At around 2:30pm, the plane started pushing back.
It took us almost 20 minutes to taxi to Runway D, a runway solely used by outbound flights. At 2:56 PM, we took off from the runway. During take-off (and later landing), I sat across from a Japanese crew. Due to the large number of flights between Taiwan & Japan (around 180 flights weekly operated by CI), China Airlines has crew bases throughout Japan and assigns Japanese crews to flights in need of people who can speak Japanese.
20 minutes after take-off, our plane passed by Mt. Fuji. I was not expecting to see Mt. Fuji since the weather was so horrible. Yet, the mountain was so high that it poked through the clouds.
Half an hour after take-off, the cabin crew started offering meal services. There were two choices: braised pork rice and donburi (named by the catering company, consisted of fried shrimp & vegetables on top of rice). I chose donburi. The meal came with a bowl of macaroni salad with ham, a bowl of canned fruits, a piece of chocolate cake, and a bread roll. The meal was rather satisfying. The flavour of the main dish was great, the portion was appropriate, and the side dishes were all appetising.
About an hour after meal services were over, the pilot announced that we would be starting our descend soon. We were told that the weather in Taiwan was sunny and the temperature was a comfortable 27 degrees.
Around 5:00PM TST we entered Taiwanese airspace.
Video of our plane passing by the impressive Taipei city while landing into Songshan Airport.
At 5:12PM we touched down in Taipei. Due to the small size of the airport, it only took us a few minutes to get to the gates. The lights & shadows were gorgeous at that time, making Taipei more beautiful than ever.
Two jet bridges were connected to our plane and passengers left the aircraft quickly. The arrival corridor was not wide, yet the airport managed to decorate it with posters and symbols of Taiwan.
Songshan Airport is a small yet beautiful & convenient airport. Its interiors are calming and give passengers a sense of being at home; its location allows travellers to quickly get to downtown Taipei; its small in size makes the arrival process faster. Less than 20 minutes after leaving the plane, I was already outside the airport enjoying the beautiful sunlight of Taipei. Thanks to the great services and products of China Airlines, I had a wonderful journey. Looking forward to my return flight back to Tokyo!