TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Seven airlines stopped flying to Taiwan last year, when the coronavirus pandemic almost brought international travel to a standstill, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Friday (March 5).
During 2020, the number of passengers on international flights fell by 85 percent from the previous year to 8.83 million, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. A revival to reach 30 percent of the 2019 total is only likely by 2022, though domestic flights could see their previous level entirely restored, according to CAA estimates.
CAA data shows the number of passengers on domestic flights only dropped by 17 percent to 10 million during last year, while freight on international flights grew by 5 percent to reach 2.41 million tons.
The seven airlines that halted services to Taiwan during 2020 were Air France, AirAsia Japan, Hong Kong’s Cathay Dragon, South Korea’s Eastar Jet, Nok Scoot of Thailand, and Russia’s Royal Flight Airlines and S7 Airlines.
The CAA estimates that airlines servicing short-range destinations will soon recover once the pandemic ends, but long flights to Europe and America will remain difficult to manage. In Japan’s case, its number of daily flights to and from Taiwan had dropped from more than 100 to single digits, the CAA pointed out.