The number of passengers passing through Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Saturday fell below the daily average during the height of the SARS epidemic in 2003, the National Immigration Agency said yesterday.
Only about 7,800 people traveled through the nation’s main international gateway, about 1,700 passengers fewer than the 9,500 who used the airport a day earlier.
That daily traffic was well below the 9,300 passengers handled on average by the airport in May 2003 at the height of the SARS epidemic, when economic activity in Taiwan and in the region ground to a halt, NIA statistics showed.
Passenger numbers at Taoyuan airport have been falling since Taiwan and governments worldwide began imposing travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Saturday’s passenger traffic at Taoyuan airport was far below the average daily traffic of 133,300 passengers in January — which was nearly identical to last year’s average of 133,400 passengers — and an estimated 70,000 passengers per day last month.
Because of declining demand, airlines have been cutting capacity, and yesterday, about three-quarters of scheduled arrivals and departures at Taoyuan airport were canceled, leaving only about 160 flights operating, the airport’s Web site said.
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