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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:43 PM   #81
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Mon, Apr 30, 2012
Taiwanese airlines report first quarter net losses
AT A LOSS:Capital Securities Corp said continued high fuel costs probably mean that Taiwanese airlines are also likely to make a loss during the second quarter of the year
Taipei Times

Domestic-listed airlines EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空) and TransAsia Airways Corp (TNA, 復興航空) both reported net losses for the first quarter of the year amid rising costs led by high aviation fuel prices.

EVA, the nation’s second--largest air carrier, posted NT$1.08 billion (US$36.82 million), or NT$0.33 per share, in net losses for the first quarter, improving from losses of NT$1.38 billion, or 0.43 per share, recorded in the fourth quarter of last year, the company said in its stock exchange filing on Friday.

However, the NT$1.08 billion loss was a major setback compared with NT$269.32 billion profit, or earnings per share of NT$0.08, recorded a year earlier, statistics showed.

The carrier’s performance in the first quarter was in line with a prediction that EVA Corp president Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) made last month.

“I do not expect the company to earn a profit in the first quarter because of weak cargo demand in the first two months of the year,” Chang told reporters at the time.

In addition, rising crude oil prices would be a major source of uncertainty for the sector this year, Chang said.

The global price of crude oil has remained high this year amid unrest in the Middle East and international tensions over Iran’s nuclear activities.

These tensions drove oil prices up to a record-high level of US$144 per barrel, which increased cost pressures for the whole airline sector.

The same cost headwinds dragged down TNA’s profitability in the first quarter.

TNA, which mainly operates regional and cross-strait passenger routes, reported NT$21.39 million, or NT$0.04 per share, in net losses for the first quarter, marking its first quarterly loss in more than two years, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Analysts have forecast that China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), Taiwan’s biggest air carrier, will also report a quarterly loss for the first quarter, a second straight quarter of net losses.

CAL is scheduled to release its first-quarter results today.

Because of the high fuel costs, Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said it would be difficult for Taiwanese airlines to escape from another quarter of losses in the April-to-June period.

“The carriers will find it difficult to make a profit, even for middle to short-distance routes that require relatively little fuel,” the stock brokerage said in a report issued on Friday.

Looking ahead, cross-strait routes will remain the sector’s major driver, Capital Securities said, adding that rising Chinese tourism and expansion of the free independent traveler (FIT) program might provide some upside movement for the carriers’ stock prices.

Beginning on Saturday, the FIT program was opened to residents of Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu, in addition to those from Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, with the daily entry limit increasing from 500 to 1,000 people, the government announced earlier this month.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 09:16 AM   #82
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Old June 6th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #83
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Mon, Jun 04, 2012
Taipei Times
Brokerage upgrades rating on TransAsia shares to buy
SWING TO PROFIT:The local carrier is expected to see a turnaround in the second half on cheaper crude oil and an improved load factor after an expansion and upgrade

Jih Sun Securities Investment Consulting Co (日盛投顧) has raised its recommendation on shares of TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空), a Taiwan-based mid-sized international carrier, to “buy” from “neutral” on expectations of an improving bottom line.

In a recent research note, the brokerage said TransAsia was benefiting from sharp declines in international crude oil prices because of the world’s sluggish economic fundamentals.

Crude prices for delivery next month in New York have fallen about 24 percent from this year’s high in February to US$83.23 per barrel, while crude prices for settlement in London next month have declined to a 16-month low of US$98.43.

According to Jih Sun, fuel costs account for about 30 percent of TransAsia’s total operating costs and whenever crude prices fall by US$10 per barrel, the carrier’s earnings per share rise by about NT$0.26. In addition, Jih Sun said the carrier would reap benefits from a recovery in its load factor after an expansion of services and from an upgrade of its fleet, which is expected to improve efficiency.

The brokerage said TransAsia is gearing up to increase the number of destinations it serves in China to tap the booming tourism market across the Taiwan Strait and to add routes to Japan, which should push the carrier’s sales higher in the second half of this year.

Currently, TransAsia operates 10 regular international routes and the number is expected to rise to 18 later this year, according to the carrier. The brokerage said TransAsia’s average load factor rose to 74.8 percent and 80.9 percent in March and April respectively, from 65 percent recorded in the first two months of this year, on the back of increasing traffic across the Taiwan Strait.

TransAsia will also expand its fleet to 19 aircraft by the end of this year, from 17 aircraft at the end of last year, according to the brokerage. TransAsia is expected to swing to profit in the second quarter of this year and post NT$0.21 in earnings per share after a loss per share of NT$0.04 in the first quarter, Jih Sun said.

For this year, the brokerage said, TransAsia is expected to post NT$570 million (US$19.04 million) in net profit, or NT$1.03 per share. Jih Sun’s target price for TransAsia shares is currently NT$20.3. TransAsia closed down 1.17 percent at NT$16.85 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 04:43 AM   #84
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Sat, Jun 09, 2012
Taipei Times
Two flights suffer security scares
PASSENGER PANIC:In one incident, passengers were petrified when white smoke began pouring out of the air vents, and in the other, a man claimed he had a bomb
By Wang Hsiu-ting / Staff reporter

A Uni Air flight flying from Taipei International Airport (Songshan) to Taitung yesterday suffered a cracked windshield in the cockpit after taking off. Fortunately, it landed without incident at Taitung Fengnian Airport, albeit with a 20-minute delay and shaken passengers.

According to Uni Air, the DASH8-300 series plane, with aircraft number B7-855, carried 56 passengers, one of whom was an infant. The plane had reached cruising altitude at 4,877m when the captain noticed a small crack on the left front windshield of the cockpit. The captain immediately took the plane down to 1,829m and circled out over the Yilan coastline for about 20 minutes before resuming course toward Taitung.

A passenger surnamed Chung (鍾) recalled hearing some noises just as the flight attendants were beginning to serve beverages. Then the captain announced on the intercom that all flight attendants should take their seats, Chung said, adding that at the time of the broadcast he felt a severe pain in his ears.

The cabin’s air-conditioning was shut off and the captain announced that the plane had to drop lower due to some issues, Chung said.

Another passenger, surnamed Su (蘇), said she “was really scared” after hearing the noise and seeing the air-conditioner temporarily venting white smoke.

Chung recalled that after the plane came in view of the Taitung coastline the captain announced there was a problem with the cabin pressure gauge system, but added that everything was under control and shortly after the plane landed in Taitung Fengnian Airport.

Uni Air said it reported the incident to the Civil Aeronautics Administration and sent the plane in for repairs, adding that it would cooperate with a follow-up investigation.

Meanwhile, another incident of aeronautic security occurred in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday when a passenger told flight attendants after boarding a China Airlines CI-679 flight bound for Hong Kong that he had a bomb in his carry-on luggage.

The 38-year-old Chinese man, surnamed Wu (吳), and his wife were immediately escorted off the plane by aviation police after the flight attendant contacted the captain and the airline company.

After a thorough search of Wu’s person and his carry-on luggage, the aviation police confirmed it was a false alert. Nonetheless, China Airlines asked all 260 passengers to leave the plane while another security check took place.

Wu and his wife were detained for further questioning about his motivation for making the claim.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 04:44 AM   #85
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Mon, Jun 11, 2012
Taipei Times
INTERVIEW: TransAsia plans to take on bigger rivals in region
TransAsia Airways appointed industry veteran Keizaburo Yokota as the company’s president for Northeast Asia on May 1. With more than 30 years in the aviation business, Yokota recently shared his industry outlook and strategy to raise the company’s popularity in Japan and challenge larger regional rivals during an interview with ‘Taipei Times’ staff reporter Amy Su

Taipei Times (TT): What is your outlook for the airline industry?

Keizaburo Yokota: Generally, I think industry sentiment will be unstable in the future, just as it was before, because the business of international air carriers is affected by all kinds of world events.

Despite the recent drop in petroleum prices [the main cost for air carriers], the uneasy situation in the Middle East creates a risk that prices will rise again.

In the long-term, I expect oil prices to go up. The company has to expect that petroleum prices will go up at some point, and therefore it needs to keep its body [core business] healthy and efficient enough to make a profit even in bad times so it can stay operational.

TT: What are TransAsia Airways Corp’s (復興航空, TNA) advantages in view of the economic uncertainties?

Yokota: Compared with other carriers, we have a specific fundamental policy, which could make us a financially efficient airline. TransAsia chairman Vincent Lin (林明昇) gave us the goal of being a regional airline in Asia by running short-haul or medium-haul routes of no longer than four to five hours.

Because of this strategy, the company’s business is relatively stable compared with the business situations of airlines operating long-haul services, because long-haul flights consume more [fuel] and suffer heavier losses when petroleum prices go up.

TT: TransAsia is going to initiate its first regular route to Japan — between Taipei and Osaka — on June 28, in a first step toward entering the Northeast Asian market. What is your near-term plan?

Yokota: Our priority is to develop and spread the network further.

Thanks to the open skies policy, we plan to launch seven more regular routes by the end of this year, after inaugurating the route between Taipei and Osaka. Next year, we hope to initiate regular services to Tokyo.

It is the best timing for Trans-Asia to initiate regular services to Japan, because the carrier has obtained a great deal of experience in the market by operating chartered flights.

TransAsia launched chartered flight services to Japan in 2008, and operated more than 1,000 chartered flights to more than 30 cities in Japan — mainly in second-tier cities and airports — in 2010.

TT: How do you plan to operate Japanese routes? Do you have any plans to expand TransAsia’s popularity to Japan?

Yokota: Attracting Japanese customers will be very important. Currently, more than 60 percent of our passengers taking flights between Taiwan and Japan are Taiwanese.

Since the air carrier offers mutual services, we will do our best to attract more Japanese customers for TransAsia, with the goal of making them account for 50 percent of the passengers between Taiwan and Japan.

However, it will not be easy to increase TransAsia’s popularity in the short term, because four airlines — China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways — have dominated the market for a long time.

Therefore, we have to let the market know more about TransAsia by building up the brand, encouraging passengers see TransAsia as a reliable airline and attracting their repeat business.

Flexibility, on the other hand, may be a major weapon for TransAsia, as we will continue to run chartered flights to other destinations that don’t have regular routes in a bid to offer mixed service to customers.

However, overall, if we hope to enter the Japanese market, we have to adopt a Japanese service mentality.

TT: What is the Japanese service mentality?

Yokota: Just like customers in other countries, Japanese customers look carefully at safety and good services. However, in Japan, I would say that it is important not to make drastic changes, because they usually find it hard to accept such things.

We have to firmly synchronize flight safety and service quality to deal with Japanese customers, because they are very sensitive to services, hoping to experience something higher than their expectations.

It will take time to build TransAsia’s popularity and reputation in Japan. My mission is to do it as early as possible to catch up with and exceed our peers amid severe competition.

TT: How about TransAsia’s plan in South Korea, the other important market in Northeast Asia?

Yokota: Launching a regular route between Taiwan and South Korea may not be so easy because of restrictions on aviation rights. However, it might be feasible to create a “triangle” concept to spread TransAsia’s coverage to South Korea.

Currently, people in Taiwan usually visit Japan and go back to Taiwan. Why don’t we encourage them to visit South Korea from Japan and then come back to Taiwan from South Korea? Similarly, we could send more people from Japan to visit South Korea and Taiwan by offering them a triangular flight.

In this case, we have to cooperate with other airlines that operate flights between Japan and South Korea through a code-sharing strategy, but this could be developed as a unique service offered by TransAsia.

TT: Have you started to talk with other airlines about cooperation?

Yokota: We are still considering it. This will be a step-by-step process for us, and we have to run Japanese routes smoothly as the first step in developing the market in Northeast Asia.

TT: Facing the rise of low-cost carriers (LCC), how do you view their influence on the industry?

Yokota: The prosperity of LCCs is good for the airline sector and these carriers helped expand total demand for airlines. While some customers of full-service airlines could switch to budget airlines, LCC customers might change their minds and choose full-service carriers at some point as well.

In my opinion, although budget airlines in Asia have been growing and are still increasing, their numbers will reach a peak at some point.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #86
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Thu, Jun 14, 2012
Taipei Times
CAL shifting further away from air cargo business amid trend
TINY COMPUTERS:The air carrier said the electronics industry would move most of its production toward smaller, thinner, lighter products in the near future

China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), the nation’s largest air carrier, plans to gradually cut cargo sales to 30 percent of its business, from 35 percent, as it expects slow demand in the air cargo sector to be a long-term trend, a company official said yesterday.

However, the airline said its cargo business most likely bottomed out in the past two months and that it could show stable growth in the near future.

“The worst time for the cargo business has passed,” CAL president Sun Hung-hsiang (孫洪祥) told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference about the company’s newly launched booking service application for smartphone users.

However, because of long-term trends in the electronics industry — the main source of the airline’s cargo business — toward producing thinner and lighter products, as well as slowing trade volume worldwide, it is necessary to cut capacity, Sun said.

The expansion of short-haul passenger routes to China and Japan might help increase that sector’s revenue proportion, while dragging down the revenue proportion of the cargo sector, he said.

Sun said CAL plans to gradually decrease the capacity of its cargo business to 30 percent. The cargo sector currently accounts for 35 percent of the carrier’s overall revenue. Historically, it has reached a high of 45 percent.

The air carrier said it also -expected profitability to rebound from the second quarter amid lower costs caused by decreasing fuel prices and an expected increase in seasonal passenger demand in the third quarter.

CAL posted NT$940.33 million (US$31.37 million), or NT$0.19 per share, in net losses for the first quarter because of rising costs, company financial data showed.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #87
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Taiwan's leading carrier China Airlines plans to buy up to 10 fuel-efficient passenger aircraft at a price of several billion dollars, according to the company and media.

The planes, either Boeing 777-300ERs or Airbus A350-1000s, will replace its fuel-hungry 747-400s which are due to be retired no later than 2015, the Taipei-based Economic Daily cited company president Sun Huang-hsiang as saying on Thursday.


He was not quoted as saying when China Airlines would buy the planes, or how much they would cost, but the paper estimated the cost at around NT$70 billion (US$2.3 billion).


A company spokesman confirmed the plan when approached by AFP.
The airline lost NT$940 million (US$31.33 million) in the three months to March, as the average oil price surged by US$11 from last year to US$132 per barrel in the first quarter.


Taiwan's EVA Airways in May ordered three Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft, which Boeing says are about 20 percent more fuel-efficient than competitors from other aircraft makers.


Founded in 1959, China Airlines operates a fleet of 68 aircraft and flies to 80 destinations in 28 countries.

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Old June 16th, 2012, 12:25 PM   #88
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Old June 21st, 2012, 06:11 AM   #89
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Old June 21st, 2012, 08:02 PM   #90
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The font just looks so.... small.
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Old June 24th, 2012, 06:29 AM   #91
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Old June 26th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #92
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After a young Asian-American from San Francisco flew his seventh Hello Kitty flight, EVA Airways recently awarded him a solid gold boarding pass bearing the design of Sanrio's cartoon cat with his name engraved on it.


While seven flights may seem paltry compared to the number accumulated by George Clooney's corporate road warrior in Up in the Air, it nonetheless marked a milestone: The man officially became the world's most-traveled Hello Kitty jet customer.

"Hello Kitty flights aren't just for kids," says K.W. Nieh, the Taiwan-based carrier's group executive officer for public relations. "We fly Hello Kitty jets to cities all over Japan, as well as to Korea, Shanghai, and Guam. Business and leisure travelers both go to all of these destinations."


Whatever their reasons for flying, patrons of Kelly Kitty had best enjoy cuteness - there's no escaping it. At Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport, they receive Hello Kitty boarding passes and baggage tags. A Hello Kitty song plays as passengers board the plane, which is plastered on the exterior with a Hello Kitty decal made by 3M. All-female cabin crew members swap their usual EVA Airways-issued green uniforms for pink aprons and scarves.



All seats (252 to 309, depending on whether it's an Airbus A330-200 or A330-300), are covered with Hello Kitty headrest covers. Even the meals, ice cream, snacks, cups, utensils, milk bottles, soap, hand lotion, and tissues are designed in the image of Hello Kitty.


While Nieh would not disclose details about the company's licensing agreement with greeting card, gifts, and stationary company Sanrio -- which makes Hello Kitty goods -- he says EVA Airways has invested about US$5 million in the jets, which have been in the works since spring 2011.



This figure includes the contract with Sanrio, the design and licensing for the jets, various in-flight items and duty-free products, and fees to promote the new brightly-colored fleet.


Jason Chang, a professor of transportation planning and economics in Taiwan, has taken three Hello Kitty flights in the last four months. The first time came as a surprise. After he snapped photos for his wife, a devoted fan, attendants noticed Chang's amusement and offered a bag of Hello Kitty gifts. He also saved a hand towel as a souvenir - for his wife, of course. "Those flights are very happy," he says. As for the branding, "I enjoy the competition [between airlines]. It will enhance the service quality," he says.


EVA's five Hello Kitty jets became fully operational as of June 22, serving such cities as Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Chitose in Japan, as well as Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Guam. Each plane will have a different theme: "Hello Kitty Magic Jet," "Apple Jet," "Global Jet," "Happy Music Jet," or "Speed Puff Jet."


This is the second time EVA Airways -- which made NT$102.19 billion (US$3.48 billion) in revenue in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg -- licensed the popular character from Sanrio. From 2005 to 2008, EVA operated two Hello Kitty jets. Tokyo-based Sanrio, a fountainhead of Japanese "kawaii" (or cute) culture, originally sought a partnership on duty-free items; EVA President K.W. Chang saw a greater opportunity.


Created by Sanrio in 1974, Hello Kitty quickly became popular among young girls. It was introduced in the U.S. in 1976. Sanrio characters, including Keroppi, a frog, and My Melody, a rabbit, are extremely popular in Japan, home of two Sanrio theme parks. (Hello Kitty is not just for kids either, if lingerie and vibrators are any indication.)


Sanrio reported 74.95 billion yen (US$949.9 million) in revenue for the year ending March 31, 2012. Sales fell from 2000 to 2009 and have rebounded somewhat since.


The airway's adorable marketing strategy has attracted some avid travelers from carriers that fly the same routes, says Nieh. The load factor on Hello Kitty flights averages 80 percent to 90 percent, about 5 percent to 10 percent higher than EVA's average on those routes before the Hello Kitty jets were introduced. Duty-free, in-flight sales of 13 kinds of Hello Kitty products generate some revenue, too.


EVA's contract with Sanrio expires on Oct. 31, 2018. Eventually, the airline hopes to add Hello Kitty jets on long-haul routes around the world. Says Nieh, "We believe there is a market for our Hello Kitty Jet service outside of Asia." The character has made inroads in the U.S., where Sanrio sells products through such retailers as Target, Macy's, Hot Topic, Claire's, and Toys R Us.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #93
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Old June 27th, 2012, 04:47 AM   #94
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Old June 27th, 2012, 10:44 AM   #95
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Any images of EVA Air with Hello Kitty livery?
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Old June 27th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by everywhere View Post
Any images of EVA Air with Hello Kitty livery?
There are plenty throughout this thread. You need to scroll around and explore the prior pages.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #97
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Thu, Jul 05, 2012
EVA cautious on Q3 outlook for air freight rates
Taipei Times

EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s second-largest carrier, yesterday said it was maintaining a conservative outlook on air freight rates in the third quarter amid a price-cutting competition started by foreign airlines, alghouth overall demand on the cargo sector would remain steady in the quarter.

“The cargo business would be a little down [in the third quarter],” EVA president Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) told reporters after holding a press conference about the company’s Hello Kitty-themed aircraft.

However, the airline’s cargo business may see some upside catalysts in the second half of the year, driven by the launch of new electronics products, he said.

The debut of Apple Inc’s iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, as well as new Ultrabook models, may raise overall cargo demand and momentum, he added. EVA posted NT$2.92 billion (US$97.78 million) in cargo sales in May, down 12.84 percent from a year ago, company data showed.

On the passenger front, Chang said seasonal demand would support the business during the July-to-September quarter as expected.

The company’s five Hello Kitty-themed aircraft also helped boost the momentum for the sector, with the average passenger load reaching 85 percent to 90 percent since their launch, EVA said.

Although crude oil prices have recently rebounded, Chang remained optimistic that the carrier would make a profit in the third quarter, as current price levels are still within the company’s expectations.

However, rising competition from low-cost carriers in Asia has made it even more difficult for regular airlines to make a profit from their economy-class operations, Chang said.

EVA has therefore been gradually shifting its focus to the business class by upgrading its cabins and services to attract more business passengers, he said.

Creating new ideas, such as the launch of the Hello Kitty flights, will be more important for full-service airlines and help the industry’s development, he said.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 06:31 PM   #98
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Old July 10th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #99
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Cross-Strait air traffic increases 31 pct in first five months

TAIPEI, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The number of air passengers between Chinese mainland and Taiwan totaled 3.66 million in the first five months of the year, up 31.4 percent from a year earlier, the island's transportation authorities said Thursday.

The total air passenger flow recorded at Taiwan's airports from January to May hit a 10-year high of 18.23 million, up 13.9 percent year on year, the authorities said.

The increases were attributed to new direct flights between Taipei's Songshan Airport and Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul. The Songshan Airport saw 2.23 million travelers in the first five months, about 12.23 percent of the total.

The number of passengers passing through Taiwan's seaports during the January-May period was 284,000, up 30.5 percent from the same period last year, of which cross-Strait maritime traffic was 78,000, or 27.8 percent of the total.

In the first five months, Taiwan recorded a total of 2.97 million inbound visitors, of whom 66 percent were tourists, as well as a record income of 21.3 billion new Taiwan dollars (713 million U.S. dollars) for the island's hotels and hostels.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 08:09 PM   #100
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