Thu, May 30, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Travel agents call for advance notice of strikes

EMERGENCIES:Travel agents not only have to deal with clients affected by airline strikes, but sustain losses from such flight disruptions, an industry association said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) should inform travel agencies, consumers and government agencies in advance if employees of an airline are likely to go on strike, the Travel Quality Assurance Association said yesterday.

“Travel agents are not afraid of emergency situations, but they should be told in advance, rather than being given last-minute notice,” association’s public relations manager Frank Lee (李謙宏) told a news conference in Taipei to brief the public about domestic and foreign tour package prices from July to September.

Asked if association members were ready to deal with potential strikes by EVA Airways flight attendants, Lee said: “Even though we were able to weather the storm when China Airlines’ pilots suddenly went on a strike in February, things should not happen this way.”

“Incidents like the China Airlines pilot strike not only showed that Taiwan is a disorderly and lawless nation, but that its government is incompetent,” he said.

The CAA knew that China Airlines pilots could go on strike, but it chose not to tell consumers and travel agents in advance, he added.

Not only did travel agents have to deal with clients affected by the strike, they also sustained financial losses, he said.

Airlines should be asked to purchase insurance guaranteeing they would fulfill their contract with travel agencies, so that travel agencies can be fully compensated if airlines fail to do so, he added.

Travel agencies should not always be asked to cover additional expenses out of their pockets, he said.

The association also announced that Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) has resumed the flights to Da Nang City, Vietnam, after abruptly canceling 31 flights about two weeks ago.

FAT flights to the Philippine islands of Boracay and Palawan remain suspended, it said.

Despite FAT’s cancelation, tour prices to Boracay between July and September are expected to drop by NT$3,000 compared with the same period last year, Best Way Travel vice general manager Coco Yu (俞示芬) said.

Tigerair Taiwan and Air Asia Zest Airways still offer flights to Boracay, she said, adding that the airlines are not likely to form partnerships with FAT anymore following the incident.

Hong Yi Travel Service assistant manager Tony Tsai (蔡承廷) touted Hanoi, Da Nang and Nha Trang in Vietnam as popular travel destinations.

Budget airlines Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific Airlines also offer flights to Vietnam, he said.

Despite the incident, many travelers still prefer to fly with FAT because its flights leave early in the morning, Tsai said.

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