Wed, Jan 30, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Airport expecting New Year surge

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The interior of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is pictured on Jan. 22.

Photo: Wang Meng-lun, Taipei Times

People going abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday are advised to arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport three hours earlier than their departure time due to the seasonal increase in travelers, Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) said yesterday.

The company estimates that the number of travelers accessing the airport during the nine-day holiday would exceed 150,000 per day, while the total passenger volume would rise by about 6 percent compared with the holiday period last year.

The busiest day would be on Sunday next week, the last day of the holiday, when the airport is to accommodate 785 flights, it said.

Several Taiwanese airlines have announced that their counters would open early.

Low-cost carrier Tigerair Taiwan (台灣虎航) said that travelers boarding flights between Saturday and Friday next week should start checking their luggage three hours before departure.

China Airlines (華航) said it would give passengers 500 mileage points if they use the company’s online check-in system or self-service check-in machines at the airport to complete preboarding procedures from Friday until Feb. 28.

EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) and Uni Air (立榮航空) announced that until Feb. 17, counters at the airport would open at 4:15am, while check-in would close 60 minutes before departure, rather than 40 minutes.

The airlines also advised passengers to check in online, adding that they can do so 48 hours to one-and-a-half hours before departure.

Passengers can obtain their boarding passes at self-service machines after they arrive at the airport.

Airport staff would face a tremendous challenge during the holiday due to the increase in flights and enhanced carry-on luggage inspection to prevent the spread of African swine fever, Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chi Wen-chung (祁文中) said during an inspection at the airport.

Officials from customs, the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine are charged with airport control and would do their best to contain the disease, Chi added.

Several major projects to expand airport capacity are to finish or begin this year, TIAC said.

Terminals 1 and 2 have a combined capacity of 32 million passengers per year, but passenger volume rose by 3.69 percent to 46.53 million last year, the company said.

TIAC statistics showed that the airport’s cargo volume increased by 2.3 percent to 2.32 million, while the number of aircraft accessing the airport rose by 4 percent to 256,069.

Eleven regular flight services were last year added to the airport’s operations, including to Brunei, Ontario International Airport in California and Cheongju International Airport in South Korea.

The Terminal 2 expansion project is to finish in the first half of this year and increase the terminal’s capacity by 5 million passengers per year, while construction of Terminal 3 is scheduled to begin in September and finish by 2023.

New two-way taxiways that could accommodate two Airbus 380 aircraft simultaneously are to begin trial operations before the end of this year, the company said.

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