TRIP REPORT: EVA Air/Croatia Airlines: Taipei - Zagreb via Paris


Written by Matjaž Nose

After international business activities started migrating from Teams to face-to-face meetings again, my colleague and I decided to visit Taiwan. At the start of December, I started looking for possible flights in early February. There were not many possible options with departures from either Ljubljana or Zagreb available - as I live in the southern part of Slovenia, both of these airports can be considered my ''home'' airports. Beside Turkish Airlines, which I really like and had used for my past trips to Asia, including Taiwan, the best option available this time was EVA Air. I was really looking forward to experiencing the second largest Taiwanese carrier for the first time.

The flight itinerary included Croatia Airlines connecting flights from Zagreb to Vienna and on my way back from Paris to Zagreb. Both of these airlines are members of Star Alliance. Flying to Taipei, I took a short morning flight on board Croatia Airlines' turboprop Dash 8-Q400 aircraft, while the aircraft type bound for Taipei was EVA Air's B787-9. It was mostly a daytime flight departing Vienna at midday and arriving in Taipei at midnight CET time which was 7am the next day local time as there is a 7-hour time difference between our part of Europe and Taiwan.

Returning back home a week later, I took the Taipei - Paris flight also operated by EVA Ai. It was a very long red-eye flight taking over 15 hours. But it was a comfortable ride as we opted for a Premium Economy class for the return flight (their B787 aircraft does not have Premium Economy class so we had to take Economy class for our outbound flight). The last of four flights I took during this Asian trip was a Croatia Airlines Paris - Zagreb late morning flight.

B787-9 economy class cabin on my VIE - TPE flight

Economy class meal on VIE - TPE flight

This trip report will review the two inbound flights, from Taipei to Paris and from Paris to Zagreb.

We bought our tickets through a travel agency at the beginning of December paying €1080 for the return flight. This was actually the cheapest option, even about €100 cheaper than Turkish Airlines.

EVA Air (pronounced as E-V-A Air) is one of the two largest airlines of Taiwan (the other one is China Airlines). It was founded in 1989 as an affiliate of shipping conglomerate Evergreen Group. By the way, you can also decide to spend some of your nights in one of Evergreen hotels.

EVA Air operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including A321-200, A330-200, A330-300, B787-9, B787-10 and B777-300ER. The backbone of its fleet is B777-300ER aircraft with 34 active airplanes out of total fleet of 86 aircraft. This aircraft type was also used for my Taipei - Paris flight. As said, we were able to select Premium Economy class for the return flight which was actually cheaper than flexi standard Economy class. Here is price comparison between different Economy and Premium Economy sub-classes for my return flight:

Here is a summary of the two flights I took on my way home from Taipei to Zagreb:

Taipei (TPE) - Paris (CDG)

Flight number: BR87
Flight date: February 18, 2023
Aircraft type: Boeing B777-300ER
Aircraft registration: B-16731
Departure time: 23:30
Arrival time: 08:20 +1
Scheduled flight time: 15h 50min
Seat: 23D

Paris (CDG) – Zagreb (ZAG)

Flight number: OU471
Flight date: February 19, 2023
Aircraft type: Airbus A319
Aircraft registration: 9A-CTG
Departure time: 11:20
Arrival time: 13:10
Scheduled flight time: 1h 50min
Seat: 10F

The scheduled departure time for BR87 flight to Paris was 23:30. At around 7pm we headed towards Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) located about 40km west of Taipei. Taxi to this airport from the centre of Taipei takes around one hour and costs approximately 1300 Taiwanese dollars which is €40. There is also another, smaller regional airport closer to Taipei. Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA), as it is called, is mostly used for domestic flights but there are also some international flights to mainland China, South Korea and Japan available.

It was possible to drop the checked baggage immediately upon entering the check-in zone in Terminal 2 of TPE airport. I checked-in 48 hours before departure time when online check-in became available. I was able to select my seat free of charge during the check-in process. If you want to choose your seat in advance (48 hours or more before departure), EVA Air charges this service and in my case, it would be around €40-50 per flight leg to select a particular seat. Not cheap at all! I selected an aisle seat, my preferred option for long night flights as it gives you full freedom to leave your seat whenever you want without bothering your neighbours. Taipei airport is not one of my favourites, I actually do not like it. It has low ceilings in certain areas, not enough seating facilities around departure gates and also visually it did not attract my attention to put it mildly. The boarding process was very organised though. There were five boarding groups created to speed the boarding process as much as possible. I was part of the last group as premium economy cabin is located in the front of the airplane. There were 7 rows of premium economy seats in 2-4-2 configuration available from row 20 to 26 (56 seats in total).

The majority of seats were economy class seats (258 seats) in 3-4-3 configuration. 39 Royal Laurel (their branded business class) seats with fully flat seats in 1-2-1 herringbone seat configuration were also available out of total 353 seats mounted in the so called 77B version of their B777-300ER aircraft. There are also 77A and 77M versions of B777-300ER with less seats in their fleet. All three configurations have all three classes available (Royal Laurel, Premium Economy and Economy) but what is most interesting for me is economy class seat configuration. B77B which has the highest number of seats has 3-4-3 economy class seat configuration while the other two have more generous 3-3-3 configuration.

Check-in area at TPE airport

Way to security check, passport control and departure gates

Departure gate area


Boarding was very well organised, and the plane was soon ready for departure. We departed (and later also arrived) on time. In between I had time to kill, a lot of time, more than 15 hours were put on our flight menu.

Upon boarding, there was a small bottle of water, a blanket and a comfy pillow placed on each seat along with amenity kit and headphones. The amenity kit was an Italian brand Furla kit comprising standard items as seen in the photo I took. Soon after the aircraft was airborne, we were served a small bag of rice crackers, drinks and a refreshing wet towel. Seat was very comfortable with a very generous recline which meant that I managed to sleep well for quite some time and felt rather fresh when we landed in Paris. Pitch of EVA Air premium economy seats is 38'' compared to standard economy where it is 32''- 33''. IFE system offered various entertainment options, from movies, music, TV programmes to games and of course, the interactive flight map was also available. During the flight, the aisle curtains separated the premium economy cabin from business and economy class cabins. There were two toilets available for premium economy passengers only.

Royal Laurel class cabin

Premium Economy class seats and cabin

Amenity kit

Generous legroom

Safety video

Dimmed cabin for take-off

After take-off, we headed south towards the Chinese island of Hainan and before reaching Vietnamese airspace we had already consumed our meals offered by very polite cabin crew. There were two different meals available. I opted for braised pork with steamed rice. Along with the main dish I also got smoked salmon with roasted vegetables for appetizer, really tasty fresh salad, selection of fruits and banana mousse cake. The meal was really delicious.

A quick visit of the toilet to wash my teeth and I was ready to test sleeping features of EVA Air premium economy seats.

First service soon after take-off

IFE system

Food menu

First meal


I reclined my seat before the pilots turned the nose of the airplane towards Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. With Robbie Williams' The Road to Mandalay song in my ears, I said goodbye to another day and before we overflew the second largest city of Myanmar, I had already fallen asleep. I was sleeping all the way through northern India and only woke up somewhere above Pakistan. The cabin crew regularly passed by offering drinks and snacks. Light in the cabin was turned off most of the time during this night flight. Somewhere over Bosnia we were served breakfast. I decided to try porridge with shrimps as I was not in the mood for sausages and omelettes this time. It was a good tasty meal again. The best part of it were pieces of apple and orange and of course a cup of black coffee.


Our flight path

Parking position at CDG airport

We landed at about 8am in the morning and had to park at a remote stand. Buses then took us to terminal 2E. After clearing security, I had to go to the bus stop again for a free panoramic ride around Charles de Gaulle airport. First, we visited Terminal 1, our driver who was also a guide just said ''Terminal 1'' with a pleasant French accent before we continued our journey back to Terminal 2. My final destination was 2B where I had a ''randez-vous'' with Croatia Airlines later that day. The meeting was 100% successful, both of us managed to be there in time! Before boarding my last flight of this Asian tour, I enjoyed some time with a tasty cappuccino bought close to the departure gate.

Our A319 departed on time. The flight was partially uneventful, what I want to say is we experienced some turbulence along the way somewhere above mountains. During the flight we were served water and crackers with pumpkin seeds. There were also additional snacks and drinks available for purchase. We landed on time, had to go through passport control first before the conveyor belt number one started delivering our checked luggage. My luggage made it, we were soon reunited and off we went towards the parking place where my car was parked.

Departure area for CDG - ZAG flight

Air Tahiti Nui was our neighbour (bound for LAX/PPT)

Taxiing to runway

Landing at ZAG airport

How was my experience with EVA Air after the two flights I took? I really enjoyed them both. The first flight from Vienna to Taipei was mostly a day time flight so I did not sleep a lot but rather watched TV and listened to the music. The crew were fantastic on both flights, the meals were tasty and filling in both economy and premium economy class. Would I choose premium economy again? With EVA Air for sure. The price difference between premium economy and economy seats was very small, in my case premium economy was actually the cheapest option, cheaper than economy. Premium economy does offer more comfortable seats with more generous recline which results you can actually sleep quite well. At least that was the case with me. Would I choose EVA Air again? Definitely, they offer a very good product. Even if you do not want to fly to Taipei, they offer many interesting connections to other Asian destinations. Actually, the majority on my VIE-TPE flight were transfer passengers. Some of their Europe bound flights also have an intermediate stop in Bangkok and after checking some random dates I found out that departing from Zagreb in many cases combination of EVA Air and Croatia Airlines (via Vienna) was the cheapest option - you can book such tickets directly on EVA Air website too.

Share your travel experience by submitting a trip report to


  1. Anonymous09:10

    Fantastic report. Interestingly I had a friend transfer via Taipei recently and they had very similar comments about the airport.

  2. Anonymous09:21

    Thank you for the report. The food looks great for economy.

  3. Anonymous09:25

    Great Report. Zagreb Airport Looks so deserted on the last pic

  4. Anonymous09:49

    It is interesting that Eva Air chooses not to fly over Russia.

    I don't remember Taiwan imposing any sanctions on Russia or vice-versa.

    1. Vlad10:46

      Super interesting trip report, just a few days ago I was looking into options for flying to the Philippines in Y+ and BR is the most likely candidate (at least as long as SQ is keeping their ridiculous Y/Y+ pricing from Europe).

      Seems like a very basic Premium Economy product, more like Economy Plus really, with 2-4-2 and two toilets for 56 pax (ouch!). If the price difference is small, definitely worth the upgrade, though. Also worth mentioning that the lowest Y+ fare will credit 100% mileage to most FFPs, whereas the lowest Y fare will typically only credit 25%.

    2. Anonymous13:01

      @Anon 9.49
      Russia does not recognize Taiwan as independent state but as a part of China.
      Further, Taiwan has imposed some sanction over Russia a therefore it was put on a list of "unfriendly" countries.

    3. Anonymous20:29

      Eva Air did actually fly over Russia before the war .
      Joining sanctions of course makes it for airlines harder or even impossible to fly profitable .

  5. Anonymous13:47

    Impressive fleet for such a small country.

    1. Anonymous14:13

      You mean OU?

    2. Anonymous14:43

      No, he means EVA

    3. Anonymous15:10

      Small? Compared to?

    4. Anonymous16:22

      Most Asian and European countries.

      With a population half the one of Poland their fleet is the size of LO.

      Plus they're the SECOND and not the largest carrier in Taiwan.

    5. Just as a curiosity, the biggest carrier in Taiwan, and its flag carrier is called "China Airlines"

    6. Anonymous20:34

      Because the anticommunist former government of China fled to the island of Taiwan after loosing the civil war . Thus China Airlines makes a lot of sense as name of Taiwans first airline .

    7. I am old enough and educated enough to know about Chang Khai Shekh and gvt of "nationalist China", fleding to Formosa.Just think it's kind of weird to have China Airlines as a carrier in Taiwan, after all these years in separate entity. And could be confusing for passengers as well.


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.