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Old February 17th, 2013, 09:51 AM   #141
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
Those have been replaced with more-frequent high-speed rail connections between Taipei and Kaohsiung via Taichung.

And question: what is the possibility of a terminal expansion at Taipei's Sung Shan Airport, given that China-Taiwan flights are being added even further?
There is already a new terminal at Sungshan. It's not just cross-strait flights. You can fly to Korea and Japan from there as well.





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Old February 17th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
There is already a new terminal at Sungshan. It's not just cross-strait flights. You can fly to Korea and Japan from there as well.
That's not exactly "new". T2 has been there for a while and now serves as the domestic terminal.
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Old February 17th, 2013, 04:30 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolstebbo View Post
That's not exactly "new". T2 has been there for a while and now serves as the domestic terminal.
Was newly renovated in 2011 : http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/l...n-Airports.htm
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Old February 17th, 2013, 08:46 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
As extensive as the renovations for T2 were (and, having seen how it looked four years ago verus how it looks now, it is completely overhauled), calling a building "new" generally means that it was recently build, not recently renovated.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 06:47 AM   #145
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Tue, Feb 19, 2013
Cross-strait flight frequency to rise
DIRECT FLIGHTS : China is set to open eight additional destinations near remote inland cities to direct flights from Taiwan, while Taiwan will add one — Chiayi
Taipei Times with CNA

The number of weekly direct cross-strait flights is likely to increase this year, from the current 558 to more than 600, amid expanding cross-strait travel, industry sources said.

Under an agreement reached at the end of last year, Taiwan and China can raise the number of weekly direct flights to 616 on expectations that more people will travel across the Taiwan Strait.

This year, China is to open eight more destinations to direct flights from Taiwan, bringing the total to 49.

Meanwhile, Taiwan is to add one more destination to its list of direct flights from China, making a total of 10.

The eight new Chinese destinations would be near remote inland cities such as Yinchuan in the Ningxia autonomous region, Huhehaote in Inner Mongolia, Urumqi in the Xinjiang autonomous region, Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province and Xining in Qinghai Province, Civil Aeronautics Administration officials said.

The new destination in Taiwan would be Chiayi.

Taiwan and China have agreed to each provide three weekly flights to the new destinations on each side, the officials said.

As to when the number of flights will increase, the officials said it would depend on the carriers.

China Airlines, EVA Airways and TransAsia Airways said they were studying the feasibility of launching flights to the eight new Chinese destinations.

Considering that the eight new destinations are usually bitterly cold in winter, it might be more viable to operate charter flight services to those areas only during warmer periods, the three airlines said.

Flights between Taiwan and some first-tier Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou remain the most profitable routes for carriers.

Far Eastern Air Transport, a Taiwanese medium-sized international carrier, operated charter flights to Yinchuan and Huhehaote during the Lunar New Year holiday to give Chinese visitors a chance to experience the New Year atmosphere in Taiwan.

The target of 616 weekly flights this year is more than five times the number recorded in the first year after Taiwan lifted a ban on direct cross-strait flights in December 2008, which is a reflection of the sharp growth of travel across the Taiwan Strait.

Last year, about 2.2 million Chinese visited Taiwan, compared with 1.78 million in 2011, government statistics show.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 09:25 AM   #146
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Wed, Feb 27, 2013
CAA proposes raising price of domestic flights
Taipei Times

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday confirmed that it plans to raise domestic flight fares this year and is proposing that the government, flight operators and passengers share the burden of the price hike.

Prior to making its decision, the agency enlisted a team from National Chiao Tung University to devise a new formula to calculate a reasonable price for local flights.

The agency said that domestic fares have not changed since 2004, when the price of oil was approximately NT$13.6 per liter. However, oil prices have more than doubled since then, causing all domestic flight operators to incur financial losses.

CAA statistics showed that international oil prices have been approximately NT$28 per liter for most of the time since 2010.

According to the new pricing formula, all domestic carriers are undercharging their passengers, prompting the agency to say it would allow airlines to adjust fares for domestic routes.

The formula proposed by the CAA still has to be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. After it is approved, flight operators would be required to present their adjusted fares to the agency for review.

The agency added that since the prices of consumer goods have also risen drastically in recent years, the burden of the fare increase should also be shouldered by the government and the airlines to reduce the impact on passengers.

The CAA proposed that the government cover more of the cost for flights in the nation’s remote areas or outlying islands, adding that the government should also consider lowering takeoff and landing fees or offer subsidies to carriers operating these unprofitable flight services.

In related news, Taoyuan International Airport Corp said the thick fog that appeared on Monday night had lowered the visibility on two runways in the nation’s largest international airport and consequently affected the departure and landing of several flights.

As of 4pm yesterday, 97 flights had been affected by the fog.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #147
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Old March 15th, 2013, 07:33 PM   #148
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Wed, Mar 13, 2013
TransAsia spreads wings with new bakery business
Taipei Times

TransAsia Airways Corp (TNA, 復興航空), which focuses on regional flights, will launch a high-end bakery brand next week in a bid to boost sales this year.

TransAsia Catering Services Ltd (復興空廚) — a TNA subsidiary — was to open its first Bakery 49 outlet yesterday close to the Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport).

The company is aiming to open up to five branches of its high-end bakery brand in the Greater Taipei area this year and also hopes to provide in-flight catering to customers flying in private jets, company chairman Vincent Lin (林明昇) told a media briefing yesterday.

Lin said TranAsia Catering is also planning to create another food-and-beverage brand in the near future, but did not elaborate.

TNA saw its consolidated revenue last month reach a record NT$1 billion (US$33.64 million), up 48.2 percent from a year ago and 31.75 percent from a month ago, the company’s financial data show.

“We maintain an optimistic view on the aviation market this year,” Lin said.

The company expects to generate higher profits this year than last year on the back of a steady trend in global oil prices and strong demand on regional flight routes, he said.

The carrier is aiming to post 30 percent year-on-year growth in consolidated sales this year, Lin said, citing rising demand on its routes to Japan, which were launched in the second half of last year.

Meanwhile, the airline’s move to continue its expansion of international routes would further boost sales this year, Lin said.

TNA is operating its first flight to Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, marking the launch of its first new international route this year, which will be followed by the launch of a regular service to Tokyo in May or June.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 05:02 AM   #149
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Tue, Mar 19, 2013
Taiwan seeks support for its ICAO participation bid
Taipei Times with CNA

Taiwan is aiming to participate in an assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which is to start in September, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.

Taiwan will continue to seek support for its bid for ICAO participation by keeping in close contact with countries such as the US, Lin said during a hearing of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

Lin was responding to a question by a lawmaker on China’s attitude toward Taiwan’s participation in the Montreal-based ICAO, an organization under the UN which promotes the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation around the world.

Then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) has said he would consider the possibility of aiding Taiwan in its ICAO bid during a meeting with former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman and envoy to the APEC forum Lien Chan (連戰) on the sidelines of an APEC leadership meeting in September last year.

China has often tried to curb Taiwan’s presence in the international community, as it considers Taiwan to be part of its territory.

However, the hostility between the two sides has decreased since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008.

The ministry sees Hu’s remarks as important for Taiwan’s ICAO bid, Lin said.

Lin said that, as far as he knows, China is still considering the extent to which it will tolerate Taiwan’s participation in the ICAO.

Meanwhile, Taiwan will continue to seek support from ICAO key players and campaign for Taiwan’s participation in the aviation body, he said.

US support is indispensable, Lin said, adding that Taipei is hoping to establish closer trade and security exchanges with Washington.

Bills in support of Taiwan’s observer status in the ICAO were introduced in both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives last week.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #150
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Let me update you on the latest developments from China Airlines and its subsidiary, Mandarin Airlines:

China Airlines Cancels Phuket Service from April 2013

The airline started operating Taipei-Phuket in January 1991, but has reduced service in January 2005 after the devastating effects of the Boxing Day 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. It currently operates flights every four days, and the last flights will take place on the following dates:

- From Taipei on 4 April 2013
- From Phuket on 9 April 2013

Schedule:

CI847 TPE2045 – 0010+1HKT 738
CI848 HKT0110 – 0635TPE 738

Mandarin Airlines to Offer Charter Kaohsiung-Nagoya Service from April to June 2013

The airline will offer Kaohsiung-Nagoya flight once a week on a scheduled charter basis from 16 April to 25 June 2013, operating Tuesdays with Embraer E-190 aircraft. Schedule:

AE7300 KHH0745 – 1150NGO E90 2
AE7301 NGO1250 – 1510KHH E90 2

Parent carrier China Airlines previously operated this route as scheduled twice weekly service with Boeing 737-800.

China Airlines to Operate One-Time Nagoya-Kota Kinabalu Service in May 2013

China Airlines will operate a charter service from Nagoya to Kota Kinabalu (and vice versa) on the first week of May. This service is available via local tour operators in Japan only, and it will be operated with an A330-300 aircraft. Schedule and dates:

CI7873 NGO2150 – 0205+1BKI 333 2 May 2013
CI7874 BKI0245 – 0845NGO 333 6 May 2013
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Old March 20th, 2013, 12:00 PM   #151
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Old March 21st, 2013, 05:42 AM   #152
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Thu, Mar 21, 2013
Minister say airfares will not increase
KEEPING FARES FAIR : Yeh Kuang-shih said that the MOTC would talk to carriers in an attempt to make pricing schemes for domestic flight tickets more flexible
Taipei Times

Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) yesterday said the ministry would not allow domestic aviation carriers to increase fares, and added that the ministry would not tolerate threats from any carrier.

Yeh made the statement at the legislature’s Transportation Committee while briefing lawmakers on operations at the Directorate-General of Highways.

Taitung County Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪) asked Yeh what he thought about comments by EVA Airways (EVA) president Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) on Tuesday that the company could stop offering domestic flights if the government refuses to allow carriers to increase airfares.

“It is true that rising oil prices have hit profits for domestic flight services,” Yeh said.

“As the administrative body that oversees the civil aviation sector, we need to protect the public’s right to access services while simultaneously ensuring the development of the aviation industry. However, the ministry will not tolerate threats by any airline,” he said.

Yeh also said that the ministry would talk to carriers in an effort to make pricing schemes for domestic flight tickets more flexible, adding that the government would continue to subsidize services to the nation’s outlying islands and remote areas.

The president of the nation’s second-largest carrier has not been shy in his criticism of the government’s aviation policies. Earlier this month, Chang described the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport as “a blank cartridge.”

In a meeting with reporters on Tuesday, Chang said the Evergreen Group had to turn down an order for aircraft maintenance services because there is not enough land to build a fourth hangar at the airport.

DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) asked Yeh how the ministry would resolve the problem.

Yeh said the land that EVA wants to build its new hangar on currently holds a private jet apron owned by Sunrise Airlines. He said that the group did not express its wish to acquire the land until after the government has finalized its development plan for the project.

China Airlines (CAL) also wanted to acquire the same plot of land because it is close to the airline’s headquarters, Yeh said, adding that both CAL and Sunrise Airlines had objected to selling the land to EVA.

Yeh said the ministry thought using the land for a maintenance hangar would be inefficient because it would impede airport development in the long term.

The ministry has helped the airline locate farmland near the airport for its planned hangar, but Yeh said it would take time to expropriate and develop the land.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 08:59 PM   #153
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Fri, Mar 22, 2013
Flight prices settled ‘by end of year’
Taipei Times

Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) yesterday said the ministry would seek to finalize the pricing scheme for domestic flights before the end of the year.

Yeh was briefing lawmakers at the legislature’s Transportation Committee on the operations of the Taiwan Railways Administration.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Ming-cheng (林明溱) and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) asked if the ministry would raise fares for domestic flights, particularly after EVA Airways threatened to withdraw from the domestic market if the government refuses to permit the carrier to raise its prices.

Yeh said the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has yet to submit its proposal on domestic prices to his ministry for final approval, adding that he asked the CAA to continue talks with domestic carriers.

Oil prices have doubled in the past nine years, but ticket prices for domestic flights have remained unchanged, he said.

“In the past, we gave carriers exclusive rights to operate a few profitable cross-strait flights to compensate their losses on domestic flights, as a way to keep them offering the flights,” Yeh said. “However, profits shrank due to the continued increase in oil prices and simultaneous rise in cross-strait flights, putting the carriers under tremendous pressure [over unprofitable routes].”

The two lawmakers urged the ministry to take into account the affordability of domestic flights as well as ways to keep the carriers financially sustainable.

As per an earlier request from the legislature, Yeh said the ministry would hold a public hearing on the pricing scheme for domestic services next month before making an announcement on when and how domestic ticket prices would be adjusted.

Yeh said that only tickets that are valid for one year are available for sale on the domestic market, which is very inflexible.

He said the new pricing scheme would ensure that various types of tickets are available for consumers and there would be greater price differences between flights operating at peak hours and those at off-peak hours.

The government would continue to subsidize flight services to outlying islands and remote areas as they are part of the public transport system, he said.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 11:40 AM   #154
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Fri, Mar 22, 2013
China Airlines increases Japan routes, frequency
Taipei Times

China Airlines Ltd (中華航空, CAL) yesterday launched direct services between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Japan’s Takamatsu Airport to take advantage of growing travel demand between the two countries.

The newly launched service also made China Airlines, the nation’s largest airline, the first Taiwanese carrier to offer regular flights to Shikoku Island in western Japan, the company said in a statement.

The company also announced it would increase its weekly flights between Taoyuan airport and Shizuoka and Toyama, as well as between Kaohsiung and Osaka over the coming months to further expand its Japanese presence.

“The increase in flights and destinations on Japanese routes follows policy deregulation from the open sky agreement and consistent travel demand between Taiwan and Japan,” Fubon Securities Investment Services Co (富邦投顧) analyst Chloe Wu (吳家瑋) said yesterday.

“US and Japan routes will be CAL’s two major growth drivers this year,” she added.

China Airlines said in a statement that it would operate two weekly flights between the Taoyuan airport and Takamatsu every Thursday and Sunday using its Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which are equipped with eight business-class seats and 150 economy-class seats.

Regarding its plans to increase the frequency of its existing Japan services, the airline said that from next month it will offer four weekly flights on the Taoyuan-Shizuoka route instead of three, and increase weekly flights to Toyama to four from two.

In July, the airline would expand its Kaohsiung-Osaka service to five weekly flights from two, it added.

The latest statistics provided by the Tourism Bureau showed the number of Japanese visiting Taiwan declined by about 7 percent in the first two months of the year to 21,200 from the same period of last year, while visitors from China increased 35 percent year-on-year to 41,100.

SinoPac Securities Investment Service (永豐投顧) attributed the decline in Japanese visitors to some companies’s postponing business trips to this month from last month because of the Lunar New Year holiday.

“It is also partially because the weakening yen has affected people’s overseas travel interests,” SinoPac Securities said yesterday in a note.

China Airlines shares closed 0.41 percent lower at NT$12 yesterday.

Fubon raised its target price on the airline to NT$14.9 from NT$12.05, saying it was still positive on CAL’s shares, given the better outlook for its passenger business and a likely recovery in the cargo sector in the second half of the year.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:18 PM   #155
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Old March 25th, 2013, 06:24 PM   #156
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Mon, Mar 25, 2013
Politics should not affect bid for ICAO: David Lin
Taipei Times with CNA

The nation’s bid for participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) should not be affected by “political factors,” Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday, stressing the importance of Taiwan’s participation in the body.

Taiwan’s effort to gain membership of the UN specialized agency involves many factors, such as China’s attitude and the support of key players in the organization, which is based in Montreal, Canada, he added.

China’s objection is seen as a major obstacle to Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, including the ICAO.

It is crucial to have support from countries such as Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the US and European nations, Lin said during an interview.

He said that in light of Taiwan’s status as a significant air traffic hub, it is even more important that the nation be involved in the ICAO, which promotes the safe development of international civil aviation and sets standards and regulations for aviation security.

“This is important not only for Taiwan, but also for other countries in the region. We hope to get that message across,” Lin said, adding that the number of weekly flights across the Taiwan Strait, as well as air travel between Taiwan and Japan, and between Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries have increased significantly over the past few years.

“We also hope to steer clear of political factors” in Taiwan’s ICAO bid and instead focus on the contribution Taiwan can make to the body, Lin added.

Taiwan will continue to seek participation in the ICAO and expects to make considerable headway at this year’s assembly in Montreal, he said.

China, one of the ICAO’s 191 member states, has often tried to suppress Taiwan’s international presence, as it considers Taiwan part of its territory.

However, the hostility between the two sides has decreased significantly since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008.

Last year, then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) promised to consider the possibility of helping Taiwan with its ICAO bid.

Hu made the comments during a meeting with Lien Chan (連戰), Taiwan’s envoy to the APEC forum, on the sidelines of an APEC leadership meeting in September last year.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 05:15 AM   #157
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Tue, Mar 26, 2013
Japan to lift Taiwan-Tokyo flight limit
EASING UP:A pact signed between Taiwan and Japan in 2011 eliminated restrictions on cross-country flights, but had kept a limit on the number of Tokyo-bound flights
Taipei Times

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday said that Japan would lift restrictions on flights from Taiwan to Tokyo starting on Sunday, indicating that plane tickets to the Japanese capital could soon become cheaper.

The agency said that the two countries had inked an open-sky agreement in 2011 that had lifted restrictions on flights to all cities in Japan, except Tokyo.

The agreement stipulated that the limitation on Tokyo-bound flights would be eased once traffic at Narita International Airport reached more than 270,000 aircraft per year.

The agency said that the Japanese government informed it that the airport would start operating under a summer schedule on Sunday and would no longer restrict the number of flights between Taiwan and Tokyo.

However, flights between Taiwan and Tokyo that fly to a third country via the airport will still not be allowed.

Following the agency’s announcement, TransAsia Airways said that it would start offering flight services to Japan, while both China Airlines and EVA Airways have said that they have no plans yet to increase their flights to Tokyo.

Agency statistics show that there are 130 flights operated by Taiwanese, Japanese and other foreign carriers between Taiwan and Tokyo each week. Among them, 56 are between Taipei International Airport (Songshan) and Haneda Airport. The rest of the flights are from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport.

The open-sky policy between Taiwan and Japan has drawn interest from low-cost carriers, with Malaysia-based Air Asia, as well as AirAsia Japan — Air Asia’s joint venture with All Nippon Airways — reported to have plans to launch a new flight service between Taipei and Tokyo.

Scoot Airlines, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, began offering one flight a day from Singapore to Tokyo via Taipei last year and could increase the frequency of this service following the easing of the restritions, media reports say.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 05:20 AM   #158
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Wed, Mar 27, 2013
More than just hot air
Hualien is following in the footsteps of Taitung and Tainan in introducing hot air ballooning as a spur to tourism
Taipei Times


Apple Daily

On March 23, Hualien sent up its first hot air balloon as part of a test run for what the local government hopes will become a regular part of its tourism activities. This landmark event for the county comes close on the heels of a hot air balloon disaster in Egypt that killed 19 people, and the first ever participation of a hot air balloon from Taiwan in an international event, the flying of Taitung No. 1 (台東一號) at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular in Australia.

According to Su Yi-shun (蘇意舜), head of the Tourism and Public Affairs Department (觀光暨公共事務處), Hualien County, a number of trials with hot air balloons will be held over the next three months as a preparation for the inclusion of a hot air balloon event as part of wide-ranging activities planned for the summer vacation period.

Taiwan’s east coast region, especially the rift valley, with its wide expanses of unobstructed open space and spectacular scenery, is particularly suitable for aerial sports. Activities such as paragliding have already begun to take off, but the commercial potential of hot air balloons, with their ability to carry passengers, is considerably greater. Those who wish to glide through the sky on gossamer wings will be able to do so in comfort, without the necessity of either complex equipment or technical knowledge, as passengers on a hot air balloon.

The Hualien County Government has brought in Frank Wechter of Cameron Balloons of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who was also involved with the Taitung County Government’s establishment of the Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta (臺灣國際熱氣球嘉年華) in 2001. Speaking at the launching ground at Hualien’s Danong Dafu Forest Park (大農大富平地森林園區) in Hualien’s Guangfu Township (光復鄉) on the opening day of the trials last week, Wechter said that early morning trials saw almost 100 VIPs taken up into the air, but at the official launch in the afternoon, the two balloons only made three ascents due to unstable air currents.

Wechter, who has 37 years experience with hot air balloons and has helped introduce the sport to many countries around the world, said that ensuring safety had been the first and foremost concern. Benedict Savio of Global Media Box, who provided the balloons, and was at the launch site with Wechter, said that all the equipment had been inspected by officials of Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (民用航空局). The balloons themselves are hugely impressive, and according to Wechter, the ones used in Hualien, which hold three passengers and a pilot, stand as high as an eight-story building.

Wechter added that the key factor in the successful introduction of hot air ballooning to a new country was in training pilots and ground crews. This conviction was supported by Chen Shu-hui (陳淑慧), head of the Tourism Department (觀光旅遊處) of the Taitung County Government in a telephone interview with Taipei Times. She said that the county currently had five trained pilots, but only two with commercial (as opposed to recreational) level licenses, adding that the government is currently subsidizing students to travel overseas to obtain the necessary qualifications for piloting hot air balloons on a commercial basis.

Chen said that the Taitung County government is taking things slowly in regard to the commercialization of hot air ballooning, and has thus far restricted commercial use of the balloons to tethered ascents that are just a foretaste of the diversity of ballooning as an adventure sport.

“Although we have licensed pilots, we believe that experience is still a crucial issue,” she said, adding, in reference to the recent ballooning tragedy in Egypt, that this sort of incident served as an important lesson in how seriously safety issues in ballooning must be taken.

Chen said that Taitung had thought of introducing ballooning as a great way of vitalizing a wide range of businesses related to the tourism industry. “Taitung seems made for hot air ballooning. There are few airplanes or other obstructions here. But it was not as easy as we thought,” she said, referring to the complex regulatory system that needs to be put in place and the negotiations to obtain the balloons and pilots. As for the need to have pilots and crews if ballooning is to become established in Taitung, she has hopes that Taitung will be able to establish its own training facility in the near future. Currently ballooning certifications need to be obtained overseas.

Taitung has proved that hot air ballooning has enormous potential, and in 2012, only its second year, the Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta drew a crowd of 880,000. Of these, Wechter estimated that 20,000 got into the sky. “In the US or Australia, people might turn up their noses at tethered ascents,” he said, “but the experience is so new here, it quickly become one of the most popular events for Taitung tourism.” Last year, Tainan also had great success with a hot air balloon activity, drawing significant crowds.

“It is an adventure. You are close to the sky in a way that you cannot be in an airplane or a helicopter,” Savio said. There is also a social dimension. “It is something you can do together with friends. After the flight you might relax with drinks or a meal,” Wechter added.

With an eye to the proven success of ballooning in Taitung and Tainan, Hualien will be holding trials over the next three months, and if all goes according to plan, tethered ascents will be open to the public in June. According to Chen in Taitung, with two years of experience behind them, the Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta in June is aiming to introduce its first commercial free flights, taking ballooning in Taiwan to a whole new level.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #159
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Old April 8th, 2013, 10:17 AM   #160
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Mon, Apr 08, 2013
Taipei Times
Taichung terminal opens this week
VOLUME UP : Data show that the amount of passengers at Taichung Airport exceeded 1 million in 2008, and the new terminal is expected to more than double capacity

The new international terminal in the Taichung Airport, also known as the Taichung Ching Chuan Kang Airport, is scheduled to open on Thursday.

Currently, both domestic and international passengers use a single terminal. The rapid increase in passenger numbers in recent years means that the 10,000m2 terminal can no longer accommodate the heavy volume of passenger traffic.

Airport director Chang Jui-shu (張瑞澍) said that all international flight passengers would start boarding from the new international terminal on Thursday, which is about 26,000m2. Domestic flight passengers will continue to use the old terminal, Chang said.

An inauguration ceremony for the new terminal will be held on Wednesday, he added.

The airport estimates that the new terminal will help increase capacity from 1.2 million passengers per year to 2.55 million.

Chang said that flights to the airport are expected to increase in the next few years, adding that he planned to discuss building an MRT station at the airport with the Greater Taichung Government.

The airport could become a station on the MRT system’s orange line, which is currently under construction, Chang said.

The airport offers flights to Kinmen, Magong, Matsu and Hualien, as well as international services to Hong Kong; Macau; Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam; and Okinawa, Japan. It also has cross-strait services to Xiamen, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Nanjing, Jinan, Wuhan, Chengdu, Tianjin and Zhengzhou, China.

The government decided to relocate Taichung Airport from Shuinan (水湳) to Ching Chuan Kang in 2004. The airport was mainly used for domestic flights and the occasional international charter flight.

Passenger volume at the airport has been growing annually since 2008 with the launch of cross-strait flight services and the addition of international flights. The average annual growth rate of passenger traffic hit 13.5 percent last year.

Civil Aeronautics Administration data show that Taichung Airport’s passenger volume was about 825,000 in 2004. That number topped 1.1 million in 2008, with international and cross-strait passengers accounting for about 41 percent of traffic. Last year, passenger volume hit 1.59 million, 57 percent of which were international and cross-strait passengers.
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