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Airlines only flew 1.02 million passengers to and from Taiwan in 2021

Passenger traffic plummeted from 2019 to 2021, but cargo traffic grew

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Passenger traffic fell from 2019 to 2021, but cargo traffic rose during the pandemic. 

Passenger traffic fell from 2019 to 2021, but cargo traffic rose during the pandemic.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The number of passengers flying to and from Taiwan fell to 1.02 million in 2021 from 60 million in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, reports said Friday (March 4).

While the spread of the coronavirus caused passenger traffic to plummet by 98%, freight traffic rose by 26%, mainly due to Taiwan’s resilient export performance, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported.

Due to the country’s relatively low number of cases during the pandemic, domestic airline traffic only dropped from 12.24 million passengers in 2019 to 10.11 million in 2020, before plunging to 6.57 million last year.

The changes in freight traffic went in the opposite direction, the report said, from 2.28 million tons in 2019 to 2.41 million in 2020, ending at 2.89 million last year. The number of cargo flights reached 72.5% of the level of passenger flights, according to Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) data.

The pandemic had also affected the number of routes still in operation, with the total for passenger flights falling from 223 in 2019 to 67 in 2021. Meanwhile, cargo routes rose from 103 to 107.