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Flights over Taiwan likely to rise by 8 percent: CAA

TAIPEI--The number of international flights using Taiwanese airspace could grow by 8 percent to over 140,000 in 2014, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Saturday following the downing of a Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine.

Flights using Taiwan's airspace will have to pay total air navigation facility charges of around NT$1.4 billion (US$46.6 million) to the government this year, said CAA official Lee Chien-kuo.

The carriers involved are mainly from Hong Kong, Southeast and Northeast Asia, Lee said.

It takes some 50 minutes to traverse Taiwan's flight information region, he added.

With emerging safety concerns about Ukrainian airspace, most carriers have decided to bypass the region, resulting in potential losses in air navigation fees for the country, Lee said.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jetliner en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot down Thursday over eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russia, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

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