From October, Star Alliance member EVA Air from Taiwan will put its new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner on its only Australian route to Brisbane.

Unfortunately, I can’t see any Business Class award availability from when the new aircraft is introduced on 8 October 2019 right through to the end of the calendar.

However, read on to learn how to use your KrisFlyer, THAI Royal Orchid Plus, LifeMiles or MileagePlus miles if you do indeed find availability on this or another route to North Asia, Europe or North America.


Where does EVA Air fly?

Star Alliance member EVA Air flies from Brisbane to its hub in Taipei, Taiwan. This is its only Australian destination.

Australia-based travellers will most likely use the airline to fly onwards to North Asia (Japan, Mainland China and South Korea) or further afield to Europe or North America.

EVA Air key routes Jul 2019 1
Popular EVA Air routes for Australia-based travellers

Strangely, EVA Air operates a focus city out of Bangkok, from which it flies to Taipei (not surprisingly) as well as Amsterdam, London and Vienna. This is in addition to nonstop flights from Taipei to Milan (from 18 February 2020), Paris and Vienna.

Given the multiple daily flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco, you’ll likely find the most award availability on these routes.

Why should I fly EVA Air?

Business Class

EVA Air has a fantastic Business Class product (called ‘Royal Laurel Class’), often rated by bloggers within the world’s top five or ten. It scores highly on its:

  • excellent customer service
  • dining options (including pre-ordering meals)
  • pyjamas (only long-haul flights)
  • Rimowa amenities kits (on all flights departing Taipei)

For its flights to/from Brisbane, the current older Airbus A330 with angled-flat Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration:

EVA Air A330 Business Class
EVA Air A330 Business Class

will be replaced by the airline’s newest aircraft, a Boeing 787-10, from 8 October 2019. This plane features lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, with the same design as Qantas’ Business Studios on its 787 and A330 aircraft.

EVA Air 787-10 Business Class
EVA Air 787-10 Business Class
EVA Air 787-10 Business Class
EVA Air 787-10 Business Class
EVA Air 787-10 Business Class
EVA Air 787-10 Business Class
Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class cabin
EVA Air’s 787 product is similar to Qantas’ 787 Business Class

Long-haul flights to Europe and North America are serviced mainly by Boeing 777-300ERs, with lie-flat Business Class seats, this time in a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 layout.

EVA Air 777-300ER Business Class
EVA Air 777-300ER Business Class

The only exception is Vienna flights, which are serviced by a Boeing 787-9, with the same seats as on the 787-10.

Premium Economy Class

On the 777-300ERs, you can also fly in Premium Economy Class. You’ll again get great service and good food, but the hard product is not as good as on its competitor China Airlines.

EVA Air 777-300ER Premium Economy
EVA Air’s Premium Economy cabin is set up in a 2-4-2 configuration…
China Airlines A350 Premium Economy | Point Hacks
…whereas China Airlines’ layout has one less seat in the middle and includes hardback shells

Lounge access

EVA Air has better-rated lounges at Taipei Taoyuan than China Airlines.

Plus, when departing from the US, you’ll get access to the excellent United Polaris Lounges.

United Polaris Lounge SFO centre area
United Polaris Lounge San Francisco

Why should I visit Taiwan?

Taroko Gorge
The beautiful Taroko Gorge is a good day or overnight trip from Taipei

How many frequent flyer points do I need to fly EVA Air?

Here is the pricing for four programs for a one-way Business Class flight departing from Taipei:

ProgramBrisbaneParisLos Angeles
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer74,000105,500115,000
Avianca LifeMiles40,00075,00075,000
United MileagePlus55,00075,00080,000
THAI Royal Orchid Plus *127,000192,000144,000
* Partner redemptions with THAI must be roundtrip; one-way travel is not permitted

Citi Prestige cardholders can also transfer their points to EVA Air’s own frequent flyer program, Infinity MileageLands.

Taxes

Taxes departing Brisbane are AU$120-204, depending on the program you book through. Departing Taipei, they are $133-166.

Do you need to call to book or can I do it online?

The best place to search for award availability on EVA Air is through the United website. It’ll give you a monthly view.

You can then book online with all the programs above, except THAI Royal Orchid Plus, who you have to phone.

When does EVA Air award availability open up?

LifeMiles members get first dibs on EVA Air awards at 360 days before departure. KrisFlyer members follow at 355 days, with United at 338 days.

Using cash for EVA Air flights

If you can find a ticket for under $4,000/2,000 return for Business/Premium Economy Class from Australia to Europe or North America, then that is a great deal.

Alternatives to get to Asia, North America and Europe

If you want to use Star Alliance points to get to North or East Asia, flying Singapore Airlines to Singapore, THAI to Bangkok, ANA to Tokyo or Asiana Airlines to Seoul are good options.

For those wanting to jet to North America, United via Los Angeles, San Francisco or Houston, or Air Canada via Vancouver are alternatives.

And travellers to Europe might consider Singapore Airlines via Singapore or THAI via Bangkok.

Singapore Airlines A350 | Point Hacks
Singapore Airlines offers a lot of frequencies to Australian airports

Summing up

EVA Air offers an excellent Business Class product on its long-haul flights. However, given their limited footprint in Australia, award availability can be hard to come by.

Therefore, your Star Alliance points might be best used on EVA Air when you already find yourself in Taiwan and want to travel to North Asia, Europe or North America. Another option is when you can find a good-value cash fare.

Have you flown on EVA Air yet? What was your experience?

Supplementary images courtesy EVA Air.

Brisbane’s EVA Air flights to Taipei are getting a big upgrade was last modified: July 18th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt