China Airlines travel agency shuttered due to pandemic

08/14/2020 07:50 PM
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China Airlines headquarters. CNA file photo
China Airlines headquarters. CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL), Taiwan's flagship carrier, said Friday it will close its travel agency due to the impact of COVID-19, adding to the woes of the local tourism industry, which has already seen several companies go out of business this year.

The airline said it intended to close Yestrip travel agency before its deficits increase further, amid the sluggish international travel market, adding that its remaining employees will be laid off or transferred to other departments at CAL group.

A total of 17 local travel agencies suspended operations in the first seven months of 2020, with another 26 businesses closing, according to the Tourism Bureau.

Although there are still about 4,000 travel agencies in the country as of August, the shutdown of Yestrip, which currently has 17 employees, is particularly notable because the majority shareholder in CAL is the government.

According to Taipei city's Department of Labor, it has not received a redundancy proposal from Yestrip, which has laid off a total of eight people so far this year.

Three of the lay-offs, reported earlier in August, were attributed to the possible suspension or transfer of the company's operations, department official Shih Chen-su (施貞夙) said.

CAL Chairman Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙) said Yestrip, established in 2001, was tailored to high-end group travelers but has become increasingly impracticable in recent years due to the increasing popularity of independent travel.

(By Yu Hsiao-han, Chen Yi-hsuan and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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