Fri, Dec 31, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Airfare hikes on hold for three months

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature's Transportation Committee and the Budget and Final Accounts Committee decided at a joint meeting yesterday that the proposed fare hike for domestic flights could not go ahead in the next three months.

This means that fares will remain unchanged over the Lunar New Year.

Yesterday's joint meeting was convened after Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) director Billy Chang (張國政) announced that airlines had proposed a 20 percent fare hike as a result of escalating costs.

Chang revealed that the CAA had approved an average hike of 9.7 percent two days ago.

At yesterday's meeting, People First Party caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said the government had refused to approve a price hike before the legislative elections.

But now that the pan-greens have failed to win a legislative majority, "are the people being punished?" Liu asked.

The Consumers' Foundation said it refused to accept any price hike, whether it was delayed for three months or not.

The foundation said it would appeal to the public to boycott air travel for three days in January should the hike go ahead.

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