Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to lose money for first time

Wuhan coronavirus to blame for losses but limited to NT$200 million per month due to government aid

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Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport could lose money for first time in its 40-year history. 

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport could lose money for first time in its 40-year history.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taoyuan International Airport Corporation (TIAC) will lose NT$1.3 billion (US$44.33 million) this year, the first loss in its history, because of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports said Friday (July 31).

While Taiwan has not installed a blanket travel ban, many airlines have cut flights due to travel restrictions in other countries and plunging demand for tickets. In recent years, the growth in the number of international visitors to Taiwan had allowed TIAC to book rising income, CNA reported.

However, by the end of June, TIAC had already accumulated a loss for this year of at least NT$100 million, which is now growing at a rate of NT$200 million a month, TIAC officials told a news conference at the Ministry of Transportation Friday. They added that if it had not been for government relief, those losses would have reached NT$800 million a month.

The daily number of flights dropped from 700 before the pandemic to 200 at present, and the latter figure also includes cargo traffic, officials said. An estimated 2,000 passengers leave or arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport each day.

As the pandemic is accelerating again in several countries, there is no major improvement in sight, allowing TIAC to forecast a total loss of NT$1.3 billion for the year 2020.