Taiwanese fly home from Poland via charter flight

Flight marks first direct flight arrangement between Taiwan, Poland

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116 travelers arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on first charter flight between Taiwan and Poland. 
116 travelers arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on first charter flight between Taiwan and Poland.

116 travelers arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on first charter flight between Taiwan and Poland.  (CNA photo)

116 travelers arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on first charter flight between Taiwan and Poland. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A total of 116 Taiwanese students and businessmen stranded in Poland due to the coronavirus arrived in Taiwan Sunday (June 7) morning on a flight operated by Polish Airlines, the first direct charter flight between the two countries.

The plane, departing from Warsaw, arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:24 a.m. All the passengers have been transported to quarantine centers following due inspection procedures, reported CNA.

The flight was made possible by the month-long effort involving a Taiwanese company offering overseas student services, Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Polish Office in Taipei, and Polish Airlines, which is the country's flag carrier. Three additional charter flights will be scheduled in the coming weeks to transport Taiwanese citizens back home.

A medical school student surnamed Li said the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic remains in the Central European nation, which will not consider reopening its borders until after mid-June. He has been asked to attend virtual classes since mid-March as a measure to curb the spread of the novel virus.

Without direct flights, those planning to fly from Poland to Taiwan will need to spend more than 10 hours taking trains to Germany, where Taiwan-bound flights are available. The Sunday flight took about 13 hours, longer than is usually required, due to China's airspace restrictions, according to the report.