Fri, Oct 19, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Peach apologizes, gives compensation for diverted flights

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A Peach Aviation airplane is pictured on Tuesday last week.

Photo courtesy of Peach Aviation

Japanese budget airline Peach Aviation late on Wednesday apologized and offered compensation to passengers it refused to allow to disembark when two of its flights were diverted from Kaohsiung to Taoyuan on Tuesday.

The Kaohsiung International Airport closed its runway for more than five hours after a China Airlines flight blew a tire during landing.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) diverted flights that were scheduled to land in Kaohsiung to other airports.

Pilots were told that they could allow passengers to disembark after landing.

Two Peach flights from Japan, one from Naha Airport in Okinawa and the other from Kansai International Airport in Osaka, were asked to fly to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

However, rather than allowing their passengers to disembark, the pilots decided to fly back to their airports of origin after landing in Taoyuan, despite passengers’ complaints.

The airline issued an apology and said that each passenger would be given NT$4,000 and 1,400 points on their Peach membership cards in compensation.

The airline also said that the pilots decided to return to Japan, because they could not ascertain when the runway in Kaohsiung would reopen.

Peach said that it had considered allowing the passengers to disembark in Taoyuan.

“We were not certain if we were able to assist the passengers in completing the procedures necessary for them to enter the country, neither were we sure that we were able to find ways to transport the passengers from Taoyuan to Kaohsiung,” it said in a statement. “Because the entire process could be time-consuming and cause more inconvenience to the passengers, we decided that the flights would return to their origins.”

“We will remember and reflect on this experience, which will be used to improve our service,” the airline said.

The flight from Naha carried 169 passengers, while the one from Osaka had 154 passengers, it said.

CAA Air Transport Division Director Han Chen-hua (韓振華) yesterday confirmed that it has received an official explanation from the airline.

“We understand that each airline has to follow its safety procedures if its flights are diverted to other airports. After the incident, we will tell more airlines that they can allow passengers to disembark if they are told to divert their flights for emergency or other safety reasons, as long as the airport has facilities for customs, immigration, quarantine and security inspections,” Han said.

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