China Airlines schedules 3 flights from Myanmar amid political turmoil

Taipei-China Airlines (CAL) has scheduled one flight in February and two in March for Taiwan nationals in Myanmar, where the political situation remains uncertain, according to the company, one of Taiwan's major carriers.

The fights are provisionally scheduled for Feb. 21, March 14 and March 28 and will fly from Taipei to Yangon and back, CAL said.

Asked why another flight originally scheduled for Feb. 28, as cited in a press release from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Myanmar on Monday, is no longer listed, CAL told CNA it was cancelled because there are plenty of seats available on the Feb. 21 flight.

As of Wednesday, about 50 Taiwanese nationals are booked on the flight, according to China Airlines' Yangon office.

In a news release on Wednesday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) urged nationals who want to return home to contact CAL for details at their earliest convenience.

All people arriving in Taiwan from abroad must present a negative COVID-19 test result issued three days before boarding a plane to the country, said TECO in Myanmar, adding that they will also be required to present proof they have secured quarantine accommodation.

About 1,000 Taiwan nationals live in the Southeast Asian country, most in Yangon and they are safe, MOFA said, citing the TECO office in Myanmar.

Taiwan nationals can contact the office in emergencies by calling (95) 9-257-257-575, MOFA said, adding that the TECO office has provided updates on the situation in Myanmar on its website since early February.

TECO also urged Taiwan nationals in Myanmar to closely monitor the nation's political situation and keep in close contact with the office.

Since April 2020, Myanmar has only allowed relief flights to enter and leave the country in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, disrupting the daily round-trip flights CAL operated between Taipei and Yangon before the pandemic.

According to CAL, airlines have had to adjust the number of flights to the country based on the COVID-19 situation and market demand, and as a result its flight schedule to the country differs month to month.

Myanmar has seen protests across the country since Feb. 1 when the military overthrew the country's government in a coup, detaining Myanmar's former civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel