The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) would soon discuss with local government officials the possibility of raising the number of flights to the nation’s outlying islands after a nationwide COVID-19 alert is downgraded to level 2 today, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.
More than 80 percent of domestic flights have been canceled since the COVID-19 alert was raised to level 3 on May 19.
Many people have complained about the inconvenience brought by the reduced domestic flights, particularly those who need to frequently travel between the outlying islands and Taiwan proper for businesses and medical services. However, the ministry did not announce any changes after the Central Epidemic Command Center said at its daily news conference on Friday that the COVID-19 alert was to be lowered to level 2.
Photo: Chen Hsin-yu, Taipei Times
“It has come to our attention that flights to the outlying islands do not meet the demand. The CAA will discuss with local government officials the possibility of raising the number of flights next month,” Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chi Wen-chung (祁文中) said.
The ministry must continue to exercise extreme caution, even though the COVID-19 alert has been downgraded to level 2, he said.
“The last thing that officials in the outlying islands want is for there to be a dramatic influx of tourists from Taiwan proper. As such, we respect their opinions in this matter,” Chi said.
Airlines currently schedule eight to nine flights from Taiwan proper to Penghu County per day, departing from Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
Five to seven flights are dispatched daily to Kinmen, departing from Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.
One to two flights depart daily for Nangan Airport in Lienchiang County, while three per week fly to the county’s Beigan Airport.
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