Over 70% of Taiwan-China flights canceled over coronavirus

02/17/2020 05:15 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) Over 70 percent of flights across the Taiwan Strait and on the Taiwan-Macau and Taiwan-Hong Kong routes have been canceled over the past week, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA).

The CAA also said that passenger traffic has dropped by more than 80 percent from the weekly average for December 2019 due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

In the week between Feb. 9 and Feb. 15, just 131 out of a total of 542 cross-strait flights from Taoyuan, Songshan, Taichung and Kaohsiung airports operated as normal, representing a cancellation rate of 76 percent, according to CAA statistics.

Meanwhile, the number of passenger trips per week made on cross-strait routes totaled 26,446, down 82.76 percent from the weekly average for December.

In terms of Hong Kong and Macau-bound routes, during the week ending Feb. 15, only 146 out of a total of 522 flights departed from Taoyuan, Songshan, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien and Tainan airports, representing a cancellation rate of 72 percent.

At the same time, the number of passenger trips on the routes totaled 27,522, down 84.96 percent from the weekly average for December.

In the same week, all cross-strait flights from Taichung airport and Hong Kong and Macau-bound flights from Tainan airport were canceled, according to the statistics.

As part of government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, Taiwan's authorities announced earlier this month a new measure to suspend all passenger flights between Taiwan and China, with the exception of five Chinese destinations, from Feb. 10 to April 29.

During the period, flights, excluding those between Taiwan and Beijing, Pudong and Hongqiao in Shanghai, Xiamen in Fujian and Chengdu in Sichuan, are suspended.

From Feb. 10, travelers transiting through China, Hong Kong and Macau who are granted entry to Taiwan have been required to remain under home quarantine for 14 days.

The CAA statistics show that the number of flights and passenger trips on cross-strait flights and flights on Taiwan-Macau and Taiwan-Hong Kong routes declined sharply from Feb. 11.

Other routes have suffered only a small impact from the coronavirus, with 882 out of a total of 961 international flights operating normally from Feb. 13-Feb. 15, which translates into a cancellation rate of 8 percent, according to the CAA.

(By Wang Shu-feng and Evelyn Kao)

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