NT$4.2 billion allocated to help airline industry

MOTC minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) says NT$4.2 billion have been allocated to compensate the aviation industry. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC, 交通部) will allocate NT$4.2 billion in subsidies to the aviation sector amid the coronavirus outbreak as part of the NT$60 billion special budget drawn up by the Executive Yuan a day earlier, an official said on Wednesday.

The sum is intended to assist companies across the industry facing difficulties in paying store rents at the airport, airline take-off fees and other additional expenses, MOTC Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.

This compensation is aimed at helping businesses amid the crisis without shifting the burden onto employees or travel agencies, the minister added at the Legislative Yuan.

Though Lin acknowledged that most consumer disputes arise from customers wanting refunds on their plane tickets, he stressed that the present budget cannot cover the estimated NT$5 billion asked to solve this problem.

This subsidy is included in the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, 經濟部) special budget plan for small and medium-sized enterprises.

When asked by legislators on how travel guides, many of who get paid by commission, may be compensated, Lin admits that now may be the time for them to improve their foreign language speaking abilities or digital transformation to boost their competitiveness.