Taipei, There will be an increase of 30 air links from 17 airlines that connect Taiwan with other countries in 2018 amid strong market performance in the aviation industry, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Friday.
The routes, some brand new, some resumed and still others changing hands between different carriers indicate that both foreign and domestic airlines see promising market prospects for Taiwan, said CAA official Han Chen-hua (???).
The new routes include Taoyuan-Ontario, California by China Airlines (CAL), Taoyuan-Xining, China by China Eastern, Taoyuan-Muan, South Korea by Jeju Air, Taoyuan-Saga, Japan by Tigerair Taiwan and Taoyuan-Kitakyushu, Japan by StarFlyer starting Oct. 28.
The resumed routes include Taoyuan-Paris by Air France, Taoyuan-Jeju by Far Eastern Air (FAT), Taoyuan-Auckland by Air New Zealand in November, and Taoyuan-Seri Begawan, Brunei by Royal Brunei Airlines.
There are also air links suspended by some airlines before but picked up by others this year, including Taoyuan-Zhangjiajie, China by FAT, Taoyuan-Clark, Philippines by Philippines AirAsia, Taoyuan-Chiang Mai, Thailand by both EVA Air and Thai AirAsia, Taoyuan-Chongqing, China by CAL by the end of October, as well as Taoyuan-Cebu and Taoyuan-Manila by Tigerair Taiwan in December.
In addition, there are various routes added to airports in Taichung in central Taiwan and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, making travel more convenient for people in those regions.
Looking at the bigger picture, Han said that among the 30 routes, 40 percent are to Northeast Asia, 33 percent are to Southeast Asia and 17 percent are to China.
According to CAA statistics between January and August this year, Taiwan transported an accumulated 38.43 million passengers in 2,818 round-trip flights per week, up 5 percent and 6 percent year-on-year, respectively.
"Japan remains the most desired destination for Taiwanese," Han said, adding that among the 2,818 flights, 670 are to Japan and 625 are to China.
Han added that Taiwan's New Southbound Policy, launched in mid-2016 to reduce Taiwan's dependence on China and increase Taiwan's cooperation with Southeast Asian and South Asian countries, as well as New Zealand and Australia, has boosted Taiwan's aviation sector greatly.
During the first eight months of 2018, a total of 8.38 million passengers flew between Taiwan and New Southbound countries via 601 flights per week, up 13 percent and 11 percent, separately.
The CAA will continue to work with other authorities to provide incentives to lure more airlines to fly to Taiwan, including by lowering landing fees, expanding visa-waiver privileges and promoting tourism, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel