Poland launches first direct flight to Taiwan for medical supplies

Polish air arrival in Taiwan delayed after China denies air space access

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Poland LOT flight arrives in Taiwan April 22 to pick up medical supplies. (Wikimedia photo)

Poland LOT flight arrives in Taiwan April 22 to pick up medical supplies. (Wikimedia photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An aircraft from the Polish Airline LOT landed at Taoyuan International Airport Wednesday evening (April 22), becoming the first Taiwan-bound direct flight the European nation has ever launched.

According to Polish media, it is believed that the inaugural flight left Warsaw Chopin Airport on Wednesday morning before traveling 12 hours to the island nation. The report said the flight, which is expected to return to Poland on Thursday (April 24), was most likely on a mission to transport medical equipment previously offered by the Taiwanese government.

However, the report pointed out that the Polish air carrier arrived in Taiwan two hours later than initially scheduled due to the Chinese government's refusal to grant it access to the Chinese air space. As a result, the LOT plane had to take a longer route over the Indochina Peninsula, according to Polish journalist Hania Shen, who is based in Taipei.

Following the Taiwanese government's announcement that it would donate 10 million medical masks to countries hard-hit by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Poland on April 10 received its batch of half a million masks. In that instance, however, the logistics were arranged by Taiwan instead, with help from national carrier China Airlines, reported CNA.