Cathay Pacific Airways yesterday announced that it would resume services to southern Taiwan by offering two flights from Kaohsiung to Hong Kong this month, starting on Saturday next week.
The airline’s subsidiary Cathay Dragon operated the Kaohsiung-Hong Kong route, but suspended services on Feb. 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The subsidiary ceased operations on Oct. 21.
Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways
Cathay Pacific said that the resumption shows its unwavering commitment to serving passengers in southern Taiwan.
It is to use an Airbus 330-300 aircraft for the two flights, with the first one leaving on Saturday next week and the second one on Nov. 28.
The plane is to depart Hong Kong at 8:50am and arrive in Kaohsiung at 10:20am, and then leave Kaohsiung at 11:20am and arrive in Hong Kong at 12:55pm, it said.
Schedules for the Kaohsiung-Hong Kong flights in the next few months would be arranged based on market demand, it said.
Cathay Pacific currently offers four flights per week to Hong Kong from the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
In related news, United Airlines said earlier this week that from Dec. 5, it would increase its flights to San Francisco from Taipei from three to five.
The Chicago-based airline resumed Taipei-San Francisco flights on Tuesday last week after having suspended the service for about seven months.
Under the new flight schedule, flights to San Francisco would leave from Taipei on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
From San Francisco, flights to Taipei would depart on Mondays Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
The increased services show that there is steady and reliable demand for passenger and cargo services between Taipei and San Francisco, United Airlines managing director for greater China and Korea Walter Dias said in a statement.
The airline will continue to explore growth opportunities and facilitate air services between Taiwan and the US, Dias added.
In other developments, there are a few conditions that need to be met before Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft could be allowed to land at the nation’s airports or fly through the nation’s airspace, a source familiar with the process said.
Taiwan in March last year joined other nations around the world in suspending all commercial operations of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft following an Indonesian Lion Air crash in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines crash last year.
No Taiwanese airlines own Boeing 737-MAX 8 aircraft.
Media reports said that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) could announce safety certification of the grounded jetliner as soon as Wednesday next week, and that the agency is to approve new training for pilots and set new maintenance requirements to ensure the planes can return to service.
“Boeing must state what changes it has made to address safety issues that have been identified and convince airlines as well as aviation authorities around the world that such issues no longer exist,” the source said, adding that Boeing and the FAA have yet to release relevant information about the corrective measures.
The government would only consider evaluating if it should allow the aircraft to operate in Taiwan after it has reviewed and accepted the data, the source said.
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