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TransAsia cancels flights to, from Okinawa on tropical storm fears
Central News Agency
2014-07-30 10:58 PM
Taipei, July 30 (CNA) Still dealing with the aftermath of last week's deadly turboprop crash, TransAsia Airways on Wednesday called off flights to Okinawa in Japan on Thursday amid concerns that newly-formed Tropical Storm Nakri could impact flight safety. The airline said the round-trip Flights GE681 and GE682 between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Okinawa that day will be cancelled. The disruption was the only one announced by any Taiwanese carrier as of Wednesday night. It follows TransAsia's promise that its domestic flights will face stricter safety standards, after Flight GE222 crashed amid bad weather on Taiwan's outlying island county of Penghu July 23, killing 48 of the 58 people on board. The carrier said that in the future, it will require visibility at domestic airports to exceed the current minimum standards by 50 percent. At Magong Airport in Penghu, for example, where the minimum visibility for landing is 1,600 meters, TransAsia will not land its planes unless pilots can see at least 2,400 meters ahead. It also pledged that under inclement weather conditions, its flights will only be allowed to circle for a maximum of 30 minutes while waiting for the weather to clear before having to land at a backup airport or returning to their original point of departure. As of 8 p.m., Tropical Storm Nakri was centered about 830 kilometers east of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi, moving in a northwesterly direction at 22 km per hour on a path that was projected to bring it between Taiwan and Okinawa. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 64.8 kph, with gusts reaching 90 kph, the bureau said. (By Wang Shu-fen and Lee Hsin-Yin)
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