In Taiwan, the Travel Quality Assurance Association's spokesperson, Lee Chi-yuen, has advised people to buy travel insurance. This comes after EVA Air pilots might go on strike, possibly during the Lunar New Year. They may give only a 24-hour notice. 

Lee highlighted that regular insurance for group trips does not cover issues caused by airline strikes. In such cases, travel agencies must provide food and a place to stay for passengers stuck due to the strike. Later, these passengers can ask the airline to give their money back.

Holiday Travel in Taiwan Risks Disruption from EVA Air Strike
(Photo : Screenshot image from TaiwanPlus News on YouTube)

Taiwan Braces for Potential EVA Air Pilot Strike During Lunar New Year

In a report by Insurance Business, Lee mentioned a similar situation with China Airlines. Then, people affected by the strike got up to US$250 per person each day. With the Lunar New Year approaching, changing or rebooking tickets can be more expensive. So, Lee stresses the need for travel insurance. He suggests people get this insurance quickly and check if it covers airline strikes.

Lee also called for travel agencies in Taiwan to handle pilot strike situations in the same way. He hopes the Ministry of Transportation and Communications will guide them, making sure they are ready for any problems.

Furthermore, Lee pointed out that while airlines usually don't charge extra for changing or canceling tickets during strikes, travelers may still face issues. During the Lunar New Year, it's harder to find seats on other flights. This shows how the strike could really affect holiday travel plans.

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Taiwan Sees No Extra Flight Requests for Lunar New Year

The Taiwanese Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced that no airlines have requested additional flights to China for the Lunar New Year holiday. This statement came despite the government's recent move to accept such requests. 

The program started on Jan. 8 and allowed airlines to apply for extra flights from 13 Chinese cities between Jan. 31 and Feb. 20. This was to meet the expected increase in people traveling for the Lunar New Year.

Deputy Minister Chen Yen-po shared this information at a news conference. Chen mentioned that there are already many regular flights between Taiwan and China. As of last month, about 290 flights a week were flying between the two, carrying roughly 82,000 passengers. These flights were only about half full on average.

For the past three years, travel between Taiwan and China has been limited. According to Taipei Times, this is due to poor relations and the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, there are over 300,000 Taiwanese working in China. Many of them usually return to Taiwan to visit family during the Lunar New Year.

In August 2019, China stopped allowing its citizens to travel independently to Taiwan. The following year, it also suspended group travel. These rules are still in place. Taiwan also put restrictions on Chinese travelers at the start of the pandemic and hasn't fully lifted them yet.

However, the Taiwanese government is considering easing these restrictions. They are looking at allowing Taiwanese and Chinese tour groups to travel between the two countries again, possibly starting in March.

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