Kaohsiung City Government yesterday approved a NT$10 million (US$312,900) scheme to encourage airlines to introduce new direct international air routes to and from Kaohsiung International Airport.
Lin Kun-shan (林崑山), director of the city's Tourism Bureau, said airlines could apply for subsidies from the city government to launch new direct flights between Kaohsiung and international cities that have a population of more than 1 million people.
Airlines will receive NT$500,000 for operating two flights taking a total of more than 216 passengers per week while airlines that offer three flights accommodating a total of more than 324 passengers per week will receive NT$1 million, Lin said.
Airlines that operate seven flights taking a minimum of 756 passengers per week will be granted a maximum of NT$3 million in subsidies, Lin said, adding that the project is effective through Nov. 30.
Lin said the plan is meant to boost the city's tourism.
The latest statistics from the airport showed that it had a passenger volume of 3.6 million last year, a 12 percent drop compared with 2008.
The airport has experienced falling passenger numbers since 2005.
Out of a total of 3.6 million passengers, 2.5 million were traveling on international flights, statistics show.