China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday said that they would add more flights between Taipei and Manila today to help about 1,000 passengers left stranded by flight cancelations due to a volcanic eruption in the Philippines on Sunday.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila suspended flights from Sunday evening to noon yesterday after Taal volcano erupted, spewing lava and ash.
CAL yesterday canceled four flights between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Manila, while EVA canceled six flights on Sunday and yesterday.
The number of affected passengers was estimated to be at least 1,000, the airlines said.
“In addition to the Manila airport’s suspension, we had to cancel our flights, as volcanic ash would endanger our jets. Ash parcels, ejected into the atmosphere by the eruption, could abrade the engines and even lead to their shutdown,” EVA spokesman David Chen (陳耀銘) said by telephone.
The airline has been monitoring the ash particles and would avoid them when resuming the flights to and from Manila, Chen said.
EVA received approval from Taiwanese and Philippine regulators to add two more flights yesterday evening, while it is still waiting for an approval from the Philippine government to add two more flights this morning, Chen said.
CAL would also add two flights this morning for its passengers, it said in a statement.
Separately, CAL’s revenue for last year declined 1.44 percent annually to NT$168.39 billion (US$5.62 billion), while EVA’s revenue edged up 0.76 percent to NT$181.27 billion.
CAL attributed the sluggish passenger numbers to fewer Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan, while its cargo business was affected by weaker demand amid the US-China trade tensions.
EVA said its nearly flattish performance was affected by a flight attendants’ strike in June and July that led to the canceling of 469 round-trip flights and a loss of NT$2.11 billion in revenue.
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