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Domestic carriers stop service of 4 air routes

Taichung-Taitung flight connection cancelled after high-speed rail forces airlines to cut back

Domestic carriers stop service of 4 air routes

Beginning yesterday, three domestic air carriers discontinued service on four air routes, significantly reducing the numbers of intra-island flights.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration approved early last month the carriers' requests to halt service on these routes beginning on March 1, due to a decline in passengers caused by the allure of the new north-south high-speed train service. The high-speed railway has reduced the travel time between Taipei and Kaohsiung from four hours to 90 minutes.
UNI Airways dropped the once-popular route between Taipei and the southern port city of Kaohsiung. The financially troubled Far Eastern Air Transport stopped flying two routes: Taipei to Tainan, and Kaohsiung to Hualien.
Meanwhile, Mandarin Airlines, an affiliate of China Airlines, suspended its service between Taichung and Taitung, creating a total absence of regular commercial air traffic between the two central Taiwan cities.
Discontinuation of these four routes leaves only 15 daily flights connecting Taipei and Kaohsiung, jointly operated by Mandarin, FAT, and Trans Asia Airways; eight daily flights between Taipei and Tainan, flown by Trans Asia Airways; and two weekly flights between Kaohsiung and Hualien operated by Mandarin.
According to CAA statistics, after the Taiwan High Speed Rail began operating on January 5, 2007, the number of air passengers between Taipei and Tainan sharply dropped by 64 percent. The Passenger Load Factor for the Taipei-Kaohsiung route has dropped below 60 percent, while the PLF for the Kaohsiung-Hualien route has dropped below 40 percent. The numbers of passengers onboard flights between Taichung and Taitung were occasionally in the single digits, the data indicated.
The high-speed train, also known as the THSR, runs approximately 335.50 kilometers from Taipei to Kaohsiung along Taiwan's most densely-populated western corridor, with stops in Taichung and Tainan.


Updated : 2021-02-26 21:45 GMT+08:00