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June 22, 2017

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After nearly 70 years, Delta makes final flight from Taiwan

The crew of Delta Flight DL-578 waved from the cockpit as their plane taxied on the runway at the Taoyuan airport Wednesday morning before taking off on the airline's final flight from Taiwan.

The airline's staff passed out souvenirs to the Tokyo-bound passengers to commemorate the moment.

Its predecessor Northwest Airlines, which merged with Delta in 2010, was the first American airline to run a route to Taiwan. The flights, to and from Taipei's Songshan airport, started in 1950, even before Taoyuan Airport was open.

In 1970, Northwest used its first Boeing 747 for its Tokyo-Taipei. route

Delta announced in January that it was ending its Taiwan route, which flies between Taoyuan and Tokyo Narita.

The airline said it planned to shift more flights to Tokyo's Haneda Airport and was seeking to rework its Asia routes to make them more competitive.

Local travel agencies said Delta's withdrawal from the Taiwanese market would have a limited impact, noting that many flight options still exist for the Taoyuan-Narita route, including those offered by budget airlines.

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