Affected by the global epidemic, people in Taiwan have been unable to go abroad for more than six months and craving for some “run away”.
Early July, Taipei’s downtown Songshan airport offered a “fake flight” opportunity. More than 7000 people applied to take apart, and 60 lucky winners chosen randomly got the chance to have this unusual experience. Those passengers got boarding passes, and proceeded through security and immigration before boarding an Airbus A330 of Taiwan’s largest carrier, China Airlines. Yet, the aircraft did not really take off from the airport.
To meet the “psychological needs” of going abroad, four Taiwanese airlines, including China Airlines, EVA, Tigerair Taiwan and StarLux Airlines, have launched a next-level service – special sightseeing charter flights for “almost-going-abroad” experience. The ticket price is around NTD5000 (USD 170), and all the tickets were sold out in a minute after the launch. China Airlines, EVA and StarLux airlines have added more special charter flights to offer these alternative flights during the epidemic period for the people who are starving for a fly.
The officer from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taiwan said that the airlines applied for the “special charter flight” with the same route – taking off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport, circling the Philippine or Japanese airspace, then returning to Taoyuan along the coast of Taiwan.
StarLux Airlines had its first sightseeing charter flight on 7th of August. The Chairman Chang Kuo-wei, also the former EVA Airways Chairman, had flown the brand new Airbus A321neo himself from Taoyuan Airport and traveled south of eastern in the direction to the Philippines. With a low flying altitude, passengers could have a bird’s eye view of Taiwan’s landscape in the air.
Scheduled on 15th, EVA Air will be operating the second flight with its famous Hello Kitty A330-300 aircraft, which has 30 business class seats and 279 economy seats. It is the largest aircraft operating this type of particular charter flight among the four airlines. The flight time is about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
China Airlines’s charter flight will depart from Taipei Taoyuan Airport, travels through Japanese airspace and then to the east coast of the island with its 737-800 aircraft in the 60th-anniversary painting livery.
While many trip-lovers are trying hard to buy the limited tickets, some people commented that they would never pay for the most “unpleasant part” of going aboard – sitting in the airplane till the arrival. Not to mention that in fact, you will just land where you set off after more than 2 hours.