All Nippon Airways (ANA) yesterday resumed two weekly flights between Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda airport) after service had been suspended for almost three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Japanese airline said it has restarted the direct flight service, which had been suspended since May 9, because many Japanese businesspeople needed to travel to Taiwan and Japanese expatriates in Taiwan needed flights home.
The flights would be offered on Mondays and Fridays using Boeing 787-8 aircraft, it said.
About 50 passengers boarded the morning flight that departed from Haneda airport and underwent quarantine procedures required by Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center upon their arrival at Songshan airport, the airline said.
Airline staff cleaned and sterilized the aircraft before about 100 passengers boarded for its return flight, it said.
Dubai-based Emirates Airline on June 17 resumed service between Taipei and Dubai, and people who need to travel through Dubai to Bahrain and 14 other cities in its network can book their tickets on its Web site, provided they meet quarantine requirements.
Singapore-based budget airline Scoot Tigerair on Wednesday last week announced that it would resume flights between Taipei and Seoul on Aug. 16, and that flights would be added on the route to Singapore.
The weekly service would leave Taipei on Friday and Sunday afternoons, with return flights leaving Seoul on Saturday and Monday mornings, the carrier said.
In other news, ridership on Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system in the first half of this year declined by 62.69 million from a year earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp said yesterday.
Ridership totaled 322.63 million over the period, compared with 385.32 million in the same period last year, it said.
On average, about 2 million people rode the MRT daily last year, and more than 60 million people rode the system monthly, it said, adding that 789.54 million people rode it over the course of the year.
Ridership this year noticeably began to decline following the outbreak in February, dropping to an average 1.83 million daily rides that month, 1.72 million daily rides in March and 1.51 million in April, it said.
Current ridership levels are the lowest they have been since July 2011, it added.
Ridership began to rise in May, but is still lower than last year’s levels, it said, adding that daily rides last month climbed to 1.93 million.
In response to new imported COVID-19 cases, MRT staff have stepped up disinfection of station facilities, which includes disinfecting ticket machines, ATMs and restrooms every four hours, it said.
Thermal imaging cameras have also been installed in the busiest stations, it added.
‘HUMILIATING’: Aletheia University students called on the school to apologize for limiting former professor Chang Liang-tse’s access to its Taiwan literature archive The Aletheia University Student Association yesterday called on the university to apologize to retired professor Chang Liang-tse (張良澤) after it prevented him from accessing the Taiwanese literature archive at its Tainan campus by changing the lock on the building. Last month, the university changed the lock on the building without warning, barring Chang’s access to the archive that he had “singlehandedly established,” Chung Yen-wei (鍾延威), the son of the late writer Chung Chao-cheng (鍾肇政), wrote on Facebook on Friday. The university in 1997 created the first department of Taiwanese literature in the nation, and Chang, now 82, was the department’s first-ever chairman,
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SECOND RULING: Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer refused to sign a court transcript, complained about the court translator and said the trial had been unfair The High Court yesterday upheld New Taipei City District Court’s verdicts on four men convicted last year in connection with the 2018 murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen on the banks of the Sindian River (新店溪). It found American-Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent guilty of homicide and the abandonment and destruction of a corpse, with Mayer sentenced to life in prison and Bent given a term of 12 years and six months, for the death of Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body parts were found in a riverside park under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei’s Yonghe
A lawyer and a prosecutor yesterday castigated what they called a lenient ruling by the High Court on Luo Wen-shan (羅文山), whose prison sentence was reduced to two years, which he does not need to serve, after he was convicted for receiving illegal political donations from China to meddle in Taiwan’s elections. Investigators found that Luo, who retired from the army with the rank of lieutenant general, had accepted NT$8.38 million (US$294,604 at the current exchange rate) under the guise of political contributions from Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Xu Zhiming (許智明) and people in Hong Kong from 2008 to