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China Airlines hopes to restart Taipei-Matsu flights before year’s end

National carrier still short on pilots

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Matsu's iconic "blue tears" captured by photographer under cloak of darkness. (Lienchiang County photo)

Matsu's iconic "blue tears" captured by photographer under cloak of darkness. (Lienchiang County photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In order to revive domestic flight routes, China Airlines CEO Hsieh Shi-chian (謝世謙) has said preparations are underway to revive flights operated by China Airlines-owned Mandarin Airlines between Taipei’s Songshan Airport and the outlying archipelago of Matsu.

Responding to a question from Kuomintang legislator Chen Hsue-sheng (陳雪生) in the Legislative Yuan's Transportation Committee, Hsieh said his company has submitted plans to Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration for review, which he hopes can be completed before the end of the year, per a CNA report.

He added that 42 pilots are needed for the route. Since Mandarin Airlines only has 35 pilots available, it is recruiting and transferring pilots to compensate.

Hsieh pointed out that the original plan had been to restart the flights in the middle of the year, but due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, that plan was delayed.