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Minister directs China Airlines to better publicize Taiwan's image

ROC Central News Agency

04/15/2020 09:25 PM

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said Wednesday that he has directed Taiwan-based China Airlines (CAL) to find ways to better highlight the country's image, amid public calls for the airline's name to be changed .

CAL is already considering ways to avoid confusion because of its name, which sometimes causes issues because it implies that the airline is Chinese, Lin said.

Speaking at a legislative hearing, Lin said some of the ideas being floated include using more "Taiwan symbols" without compromising CAL's freedoms of the air privileges.

However, the ministry is also open to a name change as long as there is public consensus, Lin said in the hearing in response to legislators' questions about the airline, which is Taiwan's flagship carrier.

In recent days, there have been public concerns that CAL's name would undercut the goodwill Taiwan is hoping to gain by donating millions of surgical face masks to other countries, as it could mislead people overseas into thinking the donations are from China.

Lin said the state-controlled airline has been asked to remove the CAL banners on the containers of donated masks it is transporting overseas, as that could contribute to the confusion.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has estimated that it would cost at least NT$1.1 billion (US$36.5 million) to change the airline's name, as it would involve both tangible and intangible assets such as allocation of time slots at the airports, freedoms of the air, rebranding, marketing, and reprocessing of various documents, according to Kuomintang Legislator Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷).

In the hearing, lawmakers were divided over who should foot the bill for a name change, but they all agreed that the issue should be discussed at the level of CAL's board of directors.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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