By Will Lee
Taiwanese Airlines Introduce Vaccine Travel Packages
Earlier, Taiwan’s China Airlines and EVA Air have upped their frequencies to U.S. to meet the public demand.
According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), the daily average passenger count to U.S. in May was 361. However, the number of passengers has increased to 686 thus far in June. Taiwan’s government believed the ethnic flee from U.S. when the country had suffered from the coronavirus, the ethnic is leaving Taiwan when the curve of coronavirus in U.S. is flattened.
Taipei Taoyuan International Airport has revealed that the travel demand to U.S. Canada and Shanghai have increased. Meanwhile, the airport has aimed to keep customers safe by maintaining social distancing rules.
Coronavirus cases in Taiwan were extremely low since the pandemic had begun. However, the number of cases has surged since May. As a result of the shortage of vaccines, high-end customers in Taiwan are willing to go to U.S. for vaccinating as the coronavirus cases in U.S. has seen a downward trend.
Taiwanese travel agencies rolled out a so-called “vaccine package,” such as “Pfizer 30 days package” and “Johnson and Johnson 8 days package.” For example, the J&J package costs $10,700 and included the air ticket to Los Angeles, a five-star hotel accommodation, a transfer between airport and hotel with a mandarin speaking driver and a mandarin-speaking tour guide accompany the customers to the vaccination site and the PCR test.
EVA Air has announced that it will increase its Seattle frequencies to four times a week from July 1 to July 18, it will maintain three flights a week afterwards. In addition, it will increase the frequencies to San Francisco and Vancouver by adding one return flight weekly. China Airlines has also announced it will increase its service to Ontario, California and Los Angeles.
In the meantime, China Airlines and EVA Air were accused of exploiting passengers over the Covid-19 vaccine. For a better social distancing, the passengers have been offered up to a 40% discount off an additional ticket to reserve the passenger’s adjacent seat. China Airlines said the adjacent seat could not be blocked off if the passengers are not going to pay the extra cost. The airlines defended the controversial policies and said a better social distancing is going to meet the passengers’ demand.
Taiwan’s travel industry believed the strong travel demand to the U.S. will remain until July. It is believed that the Taiwanese will bring their children to U.S for vaccinating, and the student travelers heading to U.S. will help prop up flights.
In addition, China Airlines and EVA Air are expected to make profit in 2021 due to the strong demand of cargo services and an uptick in the passenger travel demand.