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Carriers to step up service as demand on Taiwan-Kinmen route rises

Taipei, June 30 (CNA) Three air carriers are planning to increase their number of flights or use larger planes between Taiwan proper and the outlying Kinmen Island in anticipation of higher demand this summer.
UNI Air, TransAsia Airways and Mandarin Airlines -- the three aviation companies that operate flights to Kinmen -- all are planning to expand their service on the route, in response to greater interest among people from Taiwan proper to travel to China from Kinmen via the mini three links.
UNI Air intends to use larger planes for its Tainan-Kinmen flights from July, while the other airlines will flexibly increase the number of their summer flights to the island, depending on demand.
Despite the fact that the majority of tour agencies in Taiwan have been hit hard by the global financial crisis, cross-Taiwan Strait travel via the mini links -- direct ferry service between the Taiwan-held Kinmen and Matsu islands and several ports in China's Fujian Province -- has been brisk.
In response to Taiwan's keen efforts to lure Chinese tourists, China's Jiangsu, Shandong and Fujian provinces have been promoting tours to Taiwan in the hope that at least 10,000 tourists from each of the three provinces would visit Taiwan. Many of the Chinese tourists from these coastal provinces prefer to travel to Taiwan via the mini links because of lower costs.
Meanwhile, to date, more than 10,000 people in Taiwan have booked special China tours -- launched on April 1 by UNI Air in conjunction with 24 tour agencies -- that feature the use of the "mini links" to travel to Fujian.
Earlier on Tuesday, Huang Wei-lin, a senior high school teacher from Taichung, was awarded NT$10,000 (US$300) in cash and a free trip worth NT$16,800 to Fujian, after she was pronounced as UNI Air's 10,000th passenger on the route. Huang was at Taipei's Songshan Airport checking in for a flight to Kinmen.
Hsieh Ming-hung, general manager of the Taipei-based Life Tour, predicted that more than 30,000 Taiwanese tourists will buy tours to "travel to Fujian via the mini links" this year.
In the period January-May this year, flights to Kinmen that originated from points on Taiwan proper, such as Taipei, Taichung, Chiayi and Tainan, had an average passenger load factor of about 70 percent, according to statistics compiled by the Civil Aeronautics Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
(By Flor Wang)




Updated : 2021-06-22 15:16 GMT+08:00