China Airlines will inaugurate scheduled all-cargo service from George Bush Intercontinental on September 30. The new Taipei-Houston Boeing 747-400F freighter service will fly twice a week.

“As Houston’s first scheduled Asian air cargo flight, this is a significant event,” said Rick Vacar, director of the Houston Airport System. “Bush Intercontinental is becoming increasingly important to international airlines due to the strong Houston economy, its growing commercial ties with the Pacific Rim, and its unique position as an ideal transshipment point between Asia and Latin America.”

The new flight will depart Taipei every Thursday and Saturday at 1:20 a.m., and arrive in Houston at 8:15 a.m. the same day. The return flight will depart Houston the same day at 10:35 a.m., and arrive in Taipei at 4:55 p.m. the following day.

“We are excited about this new air cargo link to Asia. It makes Houston’s manufacturing and distribution businesses more competitive through lower costs and improved time-to-market,” said Ted Jeude, director of operations for Foxconn, a Houston-area manufacturer. “This type of logistical competitive advantage will improve our service level to customers.”

China Airlines sees opportunity in Houston’s petrochemical, medical, aerospace and information technology industries, and points out that one of the major cargo exports to Asia is petroleum exploring equipment. This new service makes China Airlines the only Asian air carrier currently offering scheduled passenger and cargo service to Houston.