The Ministry of Digital Affairs is assisting China Airlines in investigating two data breaches that exposed the private information of multiple celebrities earlier this month, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday.
“The airline refused to be blackmailed by hackers and reported the data breach to the police immediately,” Wang told a news conference. “The Ministry of Digital Affairs is using its expertise in cybersecurity to help the airline investigate the incidents.”
Two possible reasons for the breach have been identified: Either the airline’s database was hacked, or the information was deliberately leaked to the public by insiders, Wang said.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
China Airlines on Saturday said in a statement that the personal data released by the hackers were not completely consistent with the information recorded in its database, adding that it would fully cooperate with police.
Meanwhile, Wang denied that he would serve as the new China Airlines chairman if a much-
anticipated Cabinet reshuffle is finalized.
“My expertise is in transportation, and I am more interested in reforming the transportation system. I have never heard of such news,” he said, adding that the Executive Yuan would make further announcements after the extraordinary legislative session ends this week.
Separately, passenger traffic at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is expected to reach nearly 1 million people during the Lunar New Year holiday, Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) said yesterday.
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Lin Kuo-hsien (林國顯), who also serves as TIAC chairman, said that 988,875 passengers are forecast to arrive, depart or transit through the airport from tomorrow to Jan. 30.
The highest number of travelers — 94,520 — is expected on Saturday next week — the day before the 10-day holiday ends, Lin said.
About 960,000 people accessed the airport from Jan. 1 to Monday, Lin said, adding that passenger volume could reach close to 2 million this month.
Air traveler numbers during the Lunar New Year holiday are expected to peak next weekend, when the daily figure is forecast to exceed 90,000, TIAC data showed.
“We will have an emergency response group meeting during the Lunar New Year holiday to arrange our personnel and resources based on flight information updates,” the airport operator said.
Lin said that China currently permits cross-straits flights to operate from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport.
While 211 flights are allowed per week between the Taoyuan airport and the four Chinese airports under the cross-strait aviation pact, only 64 flights are operating weekly, with the average passenger load factor ranging from 50 percent to 80 percent, Lin said.
Taoyuan airport has seen a continual increase in tourists and business travelers since the government eased border control measures on Oct. 13 last year, TIAC said.
Last year, its airport passenger volume reached 5.34 million — a 488 percent increase from 2021, the airport operator said, adding that the number was equivalent to 11 percent of the airport passenger volume in 2019.
The passenger volume is estimated to reach 15 million to 20 million this year, it said.
TIAC general manager Fan Hsiao-lun (范孝倫) said that Taoyuan airport’s Terminal 3 — which is to be completed in 2025 — would be used to facilitate flight transfers for passengers.
“As the terminal would be a brand-new facility, carriers interested in using Terminal 3 are expected to pay higher fees than those in Terminal 2 or Terminal 1,” he said.
EVA Airways, China Airlines and Starlux Airlines have expressed their intention to be stationed in Terminal 3, Wang said, adding that travelers from North America might be asked to transfer to connecting flights to Southeast Asian countries in Terminal 3.
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