Philippine-Taiwan Tensions Rise, Flights Cancelled

Rising tensions between the Philippines and Taiwan over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters has caused one Philippine airline to cancel service between the two countries. Zest Air has decided to temporarily suspend its daily charter service between Kalibo and Taipei at the request of the company that chartered the flights.

zest air taiwan kalibo
Photo Copyright: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
In an interview between the Philippine Inquirer and Alfredo Yao, majority owner of Zest Air, it was stated that the route proved to be quite popular for Taiwanese tourists especially during this time period. The airline was already in discussion with the ambassador of Taiwan regarding the potential of converting the popular charter flight into a regularly scheduled service when the incident happened.

While both Filipinos and Taiwanese nationals are feeling the heat of the tension between the governments of the two nations, Zest Air is the only airline that has been forced to cancel flights. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia Philippines are continuing their regularly scheduled services between the Philippines and Taipei.

But the conflict isn't just affective air travel. Yao also reported that this 55-room Sol Marina Bay resort on Boracay was already starting to receive cancellations after the Taiwanese government issued a travel warning to its citizens about the Philippines. For the country's airline, tourism, and gaming industry, it is hoped that the conflict can be resolved at the earliest possible opportunity as Taiwan is a significant tourism and trading partner with the country.

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