Taiwan’s China Airlines to Cut Cargo Flights in Local Cluster | Taiwan News
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese airline China Airlines (CAL) announced on Sunday May 9 that it would temporarily cut international cargo flight services to deal with a pilot shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to a recent domestic COVID-19 cluster involving 14 CAL crew members, one-sixth of the airline’s pilots have been quarantined as part of the government’s plan to eliminate the disease. On Saturday, local reports suggested the airline would start cutting freight services on Wednesday May 12 due to pressure on the workforce and that the change would primarily affect U.S. destinations.
In a Sunday statement, CAL confirmed that it is “working out a new schedule,” but declined to provide details on its new operating plan. However, local media said CAL would suspend freight services to Dallas, Atlanta, New York and Frankfurt for two to three weeks and cut flights to Los Angeles, Chicago and Luxembourg.
Meanwhile, a CAL pilot familiar with the decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the recent nationwide outbreak had significantly affected the functioning of CAL. He said around 200 pilots are currently in quarantine, while other active pilots have been told of a major adjustment to their schedules, UDN reported.
Since an Indonesian CAL cargo pilot tested positive for COVID-19 on April 21 after a flight to Australia, the national outbreak has spread to 31 people. These include 13 pilots and a flight attendant from CAL, five employees and a contractor from the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport Hotel, and 11 family members.