Taiwan has eased its transit and entry rules and in the process given hometown airlines, including EVA Air, a welcome boost.
Taiwan reopened to transit passengers on Wednesday, June 15. The North Asian country has also cut the quarantine time for travelers who wish the enter the country from seven to three days. It is welcome news for Taiwan's airports and the long-haul airlines that call Taiwan home – China Airlines and EVA Air. Before the pandemic, both did brisk business connecting long-haul passengers through Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport.
North Asian countries remain some of the slowest countries to reopen their borders. The situation in China and Hong Kong is well known. South Korea has recently reopened and is issuing 90-day tourist visas for travelers from most countries. But Japan has only just begun admitting limited numbers of tourists traveling in organized tour groups, and Taiwan remains tricky if you are looking to do more than simply transit at the airport.
An EVA Air spokesperson told Simple Flying that passengers now eyeing connecting EVA Air flights in Taipei must keep several things in mind. Firstly, the relaxation in the transit rule doesn't apply to passengers going to or coming from mainland China. But it does cover travelers going to or coming from Hong Kong or Macau. For all passengers, the transit period in Taipei cannot exceed 12 hours and must stay within one calendar day – so no 21.00 arrivals and 01:30 departures the following day. Obviously, this last rule doesn't apply if delays occur beyond the passenger's control.
Each passenger must present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report within two days before flight departure. While transit passengers will no longer need to complete Taiwan's Quarantine System for Entry form, they must ensure the connecting flights are on the same itinerary and not issued as separate tickets.
The shortened quarantine period is also helpful if you need to enter Taiwan. That quarantine can take place in a private residence or a quarantine hotel. Following the three-day stay inside rule, travelers are expected to self-monitor for symptoms for a further four days. A testing regime and checks travelers are abiding by the rules will also apply. Taiwan is allowing in 25,000 travelers a week under this new arrangement.
As changes get made to Taiwan's entry and transit rules, China Airlines continues to operate the bulk of aircraft movements at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport (TPE). However, competitor EVA Air is picking up the pace of their flying. On Thursday, EVA Air has arrivals scheduled at TPE from Shanghai Pudong, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Brisbane, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Osaka Kansai, Fukuoka, Cebu, Seoul, and Manila. Many of these flights are likely highly dependent on freight, but now passenger loads may increase.
Foreign airlines flying into Taoyuan International Airport include Scoot, Korean Air, Asiana, Philippine Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air China, Xiamen Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Emirates, Delta Air Lines, China Eastern, and Turkish Airlines. Happily, local startup Starlux Airlines is also shuttling in and out of TPE. With the high number of alliance airlines and codeshare flights operating in and out of TPE, most of these airlines should also enjoy some uplift in passenger numbers on flights to and from Taiwan.
Lead Journalist – Southwest Pacific -.A Masters level education and appetite for travel combine to make Andrew an incredible aviation brain with decades of insight behind him. Andrew’s first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Australian airlines adds exciting depth and color to his work. Andrew is based in Sydney.


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