Taiwan China flights drop significantly amid flight ban

Taipei The number of flights across the Taiwan Strait dropped by 70 percent on Monday when tighter border controls came into force in an effort to keep the novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV) from reaching Taiwan in larger numbers, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.

On Monday, 103 out of a total of 148 flights were canceled, after a new rule announced last week stopped all passenger flights between Taiwan and China, with the exception of five destinations in China, from Monday to April 29, the CAA said.

During the period, flights excluding those between Taiwan and Beijing, Pudong and Hongqiao in Shanghai, Xiamen in Fujian and Chengdu in Sichuan, will be suspended as part of government efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

The cross strait aviation market had already been badly hit as the outbreak escalated quickly in recent weeks. Last week, half the total of 1,204 cross strait flights were canceled, the CAA said.

As a result, only 51,009 passenger trips were made during the period, down 67 percent from the weekly average of 153,372 in December, according to the agency.

Flights on Taiwan Macau and Taiwan Hong Kong routes are also on the decrease, the CAA said, adding that 37 percent of 1,127 total weekly flights were canceled last week.

That translates into a 56 percent drop in the number of weekly passenger trips made, compared with an average of 183,030 in December, it said.

As of Monday, China has recorded more than 40,000 confirmed cases, with 909 fatalities, while Taiwan has seen 18 cases.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel