Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave.
The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere.
About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks.
Photo: David Chang, EPA-EFE
“I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,” said Hsiao Chun-wei, 38, who brought her young son.
The passengers received boarding passes, and proceeded through security and immigration before boarding a China Airlines Airbus A330, where flight attendants chatted to them.
“I hope the epidemic ends soon so we can really fly away,” a 48-year-old woman surnamed Tsai said.
Photo: David Chang, EPA-EFE
The airport is using the event to show off renovations completed while passengers have stayed away and show people what COVID-19-prevention measures they are taking.
The airport usually offers flights to Tokyo, Seoul and several Chinese cities, and is also an important domestic hub.
With fewer flights operating, passenger numbers have plummeted 64 percent in the first five months of this year compared with the same period last year, official data showed.
Still, in one bright spot, domestic travel is booming.
The two main domestic carriers — China Airlines unit Mandarin Airlines and EVA Airway’s Uni Air — have added extra capacity over the summer on routes to outlying islands and the east coast.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first