Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport under cyber attack, 51 flights cancelled as PLA live-fire military exercises under way

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4th August 2022 – (Taipei) U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, and mainland China began continuous live-fire military exercises around Taiwan on Thursday (4th). The world is concerned that the exercises may affect commercial flights and cargo planes to and from Taiwan.

The Minister of Transportation and Communications in Taiwan, Wang Kwo-tsai, pointed out that a total of 18 international routes will be affected. 300 international flights are expected to take off and land every day, and 900 in three days. Among them, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) currently has 51 international flights cancelled, and its official website is reported to be unable to operate due to cyber attacks. Hong Kong still has flights to and from Taiwan as usual.

The TPE currently denies that the military exercises are the cause of the halted flights.

According to the airport’s official website and local media report, 26 arriving flights to Taiwan were cancelled for Thursday, such as EVA Air Flight BR751 Shanghai to TPE, EVA Air Flight BR27 from San Francisco to TPE, EVA Air Flight BR15 Los Angeles to TPE, China Airlines Flight CI904 from Hong Kong to TPE, EVA Air Flight BR177 Osaka to TPE, and EVA Air Flight BR105 Fukuoka to TPE. At least 25 flights departing from TPE have also been canceled for Thursday. Examples include EVA Air Flight BR178 from TPE to Osaka and EVA Air Flight BR395 from TPE to Ho Chi Minh City. It is said that the reason for the cancellation has nothing to do with the PLA military exercise. TPE claimed that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, various airlines have been grounded or cancelled but no flights have been cancelled due to military exercises.

According to the website of Hong Kong International Airport, there were 4 flights from Hong Kong to Taipei and 4 flights from Taipei to Hong Kong on Thursday, some of which are scheduled on Thursday afternoon, after the PLA military exercise. There are also 2 flights to and from Kaohsiung as usual on the same day.

Wangi said on Wednesday (3rd) that after communicating alternative routes, the flights will be diverted to the Flight Information Region (FIR) of Fukuoka, Japan for North America and Northeast Asia, and via the Philippine FIR to the south. The handover points have been communicated to ensure that there are routes in and out of Taiwan.

It is currently estimated that at least 2% of flights in and out of TPE could be canceled as a result of the exercises.

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