Wed, Aug 01, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Chiayi-Taipei flights to be suspended

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Civil Aeronautics Admini-stration yesterday approved Uni Airways Corp's (立榮) application to suspend air services for the Taipei-Chiayi route starting on Aug. 16 in light of the carrier's growing losses.

Passengers who have purchased tickets with Uni Airways will not need to pay a handling fee to get a refund, the administration said.

The administration approved Uni Airways' application after taking into account other modes of transportation and their convenience, as well as competition among airlines, it said.

Uni Airways was the only carrier flying between Taipei and Chiayi, but it has seen its passenger load factor -- the percentage of seats filled with paying passengers -- dwindle since the high-speed rail started operations earlier this year.

Losses continue to increase even though Uni Airways has adjusted its flight schedule and launched ticket promotions.

In the first half of the year, the carrier registered a passenger load factor of 28.3 percent per month, or 16 passengers per flight, down from 89.1 percent during the same period last year.

Uni Airways estimated that losses incurred on the Taipei-Chiayi route for the first half of the year topped NT$66 million (US$2 million).

Long-haul buses, trains and the the high-speed rail offer cheaper alternatives between the cities.

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