Taoyuan airport traffic grows 13 percent
By John Liu, The China Post
July 30, 2014, 12:04 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport accumulated visitor traffic of 16.689 million travelers in the first six months of 2014, growing 13.1 percent from the same period last year, the highest among all airports in Asia.
Authorities estimate the visitor traffic will reach 34 million for the whole year. The rise of budget air travel, as well as the economic recovery that has boosted tourist numbers and promotions rolled out by airlines and hotels have contributed to the surge of visitor traffic.
In regard to other Asian airports, traffic at Singapore Changi Airport and Japan's Narita International Airport grew 1.76 percent and 5.61 percent, respectively, between January and May. Traffic at Hong Kong International Airport and South Korea's Incheon International Airport grew 6.3 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, in the first six months of the year.
Arrivals at Taoyuan grew the most in May, by 21.74 percent. The top three areas that contributed to Taiwan's foreign traffic in sequence are mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau.
The airport's flight departures also grew 24.7 percent in May, despite the fact that the month is usually considered an off travel season. The top three travel destinations for the locals in sequence were Japan, mainland China and Hong Kong. Flights to Japan grew by as much as 41.92 percent.
Tourists coming from mainland China exceeded 500,000 in the first half of 2014. The number, which hit a new record this year, was double from the previous year.
Up to 10 additional cities in Taiwan will reportedly be open to Chinese tourists in the second half of the year. As cross-strait travel becomes more common, visitor traffic at the Taoyuan airport is expected to grow in the remainder of the year.
Budget Carriers to Move to Terminal 1
In order to prepare for more visitor traffic in the future, Taoyuan airport is expanding in Terminal 2, and construction work is slated to be completed within two years.
In addition, Taoyuan airport intends to move all budget carriers to Terminal 1, which will provide more space for backpackers and independent travelers.
Taoyuan airport has so much traffic that it is constantly in a “taut” state, said airport spokesman Wen Yung-sung (溫永松).
When the construction of Terminal 1 is complete, up to 11 airliners that operate budget flights are expected to dock in, including Dragonair, Cathay Pacific Airways, Sichuan Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Scoot, Peach Aviation and Vanilla Air.