Record number of passengers expected at Taiwan airport during Lunar New Year

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport could see 160,000 passengers between Jan. 23-29

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. (CNA photo)

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport could see record passenger numbers between Jan. 17 and Feb. 4 because of Lunar New Year holiday travel, according to the airport management company.

Average passenger visits could hit 160,000 per day in the period that includes the Jan. 23-29 holiday, up 4.6 percent from the average seen around last Lunar New Year, according to the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Co. (TIAC).

During peak travel periods, expected between Jan. 22-24 and Jan. 28-Feb. 1, the country's main gateway could handle over 163,000 passengers each day, the company said. The traffic surge around the Lunar New Year could be attributed to 1,423 extra flights, which account for 9.2 percent of the total flights between Jan. 17 and Feb. 4, it said.

Meanwhile, with the increasing number of passengers using the airport, accelerating construction of a third terminal will be among the company's top priorities, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The airport expansion project has undergone numerous delays due to the complicated design and poor budget management.

The start of the project might have to be postponed until a design review is completed in February, said TIAC Chairman Wang Ming-teh (王明德).

According to the company, the airport saw a record-high 46.53 million visits last year compared with 44.88 million in 2018. It is estimated that there will be 48.56 million airport visits in 2020, with passenger volume continuing to grow at a rate of 2 million per year, Wang said.