A total of 116 Taiwanese yesterday morning arrived home from Warsaw on board a charter flight operated by LOT Polish Airlines, after being stranded in the European country for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was also the first-ever direct passenger flight between Taiwan and Poland, said the Polish Office in Taipei, the de facto Polish embassy in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic relations.
The two countries signed an air transport agreement in March 2015.
Photo: Tony Yao, Taipei Times
The airplane landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:24am after a 13-hour flight.
The plane had to make a three-hour detour, as it was not allowed to fly over China.
The passengers, mostly students and businesspeople, were quarantined upon arrival for 14 days in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s instructions after undergoing initial health checks.
The charter flight was made possible through the efforts of Lin’s International Consulting Co Ltd, an overseas student service, and coordination between Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration and LOT.
It took the parties involved three to four weeks to arrange the charter flight, Lin’s International said.
There would be three more such flights to evacuate Taiwanese from Poland in the near term, the company said.
Without the charter flights, the Taiwanese in Poland would have had to travel to Germany by land for more than 10 hours before they could board a flight home, which could increase the risk of infection, it added.
The Taoyuan airport assigned ground personnel and cleaning staff as early as 2am to prepare for the arrival and arranged six buses to take the passengers to designated quarantine centers.
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South
‘CORRUPTION’: One DPP lawmaker and two KMT legislators were held incommunicado, while former NPP chairman Hsu Yung-ming was released on bail in the Pacific Sogo case The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that three lawmakers be held incommunicado amid a probe into allegedly bribery relating to an ownership dispute over Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). The three are Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) of the Democratic Progressive Party, and Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Also held incommunicado were Su’s office director Yu Hsueh-yang (余學洋) and Sufin’s office director Ting Fu-hua (丁復華), as well as Kuo Ke-ming (郭克銘), a political lobbyist and general manager of Knowledge International Consultancy (是知管理顧問公司). The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Friday raided the offices of six incumbent and former