Kaohsiung International Airport

Kaohsiung International Airport (高雄國際機場[b]) (IATA: KHH, ICAO: RCKH) is a medium-sized civil airport in Siaogang District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, also known as Xiaogang Airport (小港機場Xiǎogǎng jīchǎng). With nearly seven million passengers in 2018, it is the second busiest airport in Taiwan, after Taoyuan.[1] The airport has a single east–west runway and two terminals: one international and one domestic. It is owned and operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.


Originally built as an Imperial Japanese Army Air Squadron base in 1942 during the Japanese rule era of Taiwan,[2] Kaohsiung Airport retained its military purpose when the Republic of China government first took control of Taiwan in 1945. Due to the need for civil transportation in southern Taiwan, it was demilitarised and converted into a domestic civil airport in 1965, and further upgraded to the status an international airport in 1969, with regular international flights starting in 1972.[3]

During the 1970s and 1980s, direct international flights were rare at the airport, with Hong Kong and Tokyo being the only two destinations.[citation needed] Since the early 1990s, dedicated connection flights to Taipei were inaugurated, bringing convenience to the south as Taipei had more international flights. These contributed to a steady growth in airport passenger and flight movements. A new terminal dedicated to international flights was opened in 1997.[citation needed]

In summer 1998, EVA Air opened a direct flight between Kaohsiung and Los Angeles, but it was discontinued only three months later due to low ridership.[citation needed] Northwest Airlines operated the Kaohsiung–Osaka route from 1999 to 2001, and the Tokyo route from 2002 to 2003. These two routes were separately suspended due to the low load caused by the September 11 attacks and SARS outbreak.

After Taiwan High Speed Rail, the high speed rail line that runs between Taipei and Kaohsiung along Taiwan’s western plains, began operation in January 2007, Kaohsiung Airport suffered large reduction in passenger and flight movements. The convenience of Taiwan High Speed Rail and record-high costs of jet fuel were eating up most load factors to Taipei, caused flights between cities on Taiwan’s western plains to cease operation, with the last domestic flight between Taipei Songshan and Kaohsiung ceased operation on 31 August 2012. The dedicated international connecting flight between Kaohsiung and Taoyuan stopped on 1 July 2017, after over thirty years of operation.

Since December 2008, Kaohsiung Airport has added direct flights to Hangzhou, and has since added flights to Shenzhen, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Changsha, Beijing, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Guilin, Qingdao and Chengdu.

Since 2009, the number of passengers has been recovering due to the opening of regular scheduled cross-strait flights to mainland China, as well as the rise of low cost carriers.


Kaohsiung International Airport has two terminals – domestic and international. They are connected by a corridor way.

The domestic terminal was built in 1965 when the facility was first opened as a civilian airport.[citation needed] Through the years, it has undergone small expansions and improvements, but jet bridges have never been added. (The domestic terminal primarily serves smaller planes that do not require jet bridges.) The current domestic terminal building also served international flights before the opening of the new international terminal. The international terminal opened in 1997 and all gates have jet bridges. It serves all international and cross-strait flights to China. The floor area for the international terminal is three times more than that of the domestic one.

Airlines and destinations


Airlines Destinations Ref
Air Busan Busan  
Air Macau Macau  
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International  
Cathay Dragon Hong Kong  
China Airlines Bangkok–Suvharnabhumi, Beijing–Capital, Hong Kong, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Kumamoto, Manila, Naha, Osaka–Kansai, Sapporo–Chitose, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Singapore, Tokyo–Narita  
China Eastern Airlines Nanchang, Nanjing, Wuhan, Wuxi  
China Southern Airlines Wuhan  
Daily Air Qimei, Wang-an  
EVA Air Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Macau, Ningbo, Osaka–Kansai, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Tianjin, Tokyo–Narita  
Far Eastern Air Transport Fuzhou, Haikou, Kinmen, Penghu, Xiamen
Seasonal: Da Nang
Japan Airlines Tokyo–Narita  
Jeju Air Jeju (begins 3 October 2019),[5] Seoul–Incheon  
Jetstar Pacific Da Nang[6]  
Juneyao Airlines Shanghai–Pudong  
Mandarin Airlines Changsha, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Hualien, Penghu, Xiamen  
Peach Naha, Osaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Narita (begins 27 October 2019)  
Philippines AirAsia Cebu, Clark, Manila  
Scoot Osaka–Kansai, Singapore  
Spring Airlines Ningbo, Shanghai–Pudong  
Thai Smile Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi  
Tigerair Taiwan Fukuoka, Macau, Nagoya–Centrair, Naha, Osaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Narita  
T’way Air Seoul–Incheon, Busan (begins 6 September 2019)[7]  
Uni Air Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Kinmen, Kunming, Penghu, Wuxi  
Vanilla Air Tokyo–Narita (ends 30 September 2019)  
VietJet Air Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City  
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City 
Charter: Can Tho
XiamenAir Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen  

Several airlines such as China Airlines and Uni Air operate charter flights from Kaohsiung to many Japanese cities including Asahikawa, Hakodate, Sapporo, Hanamaki, Obihiro, Nagasaki and Kumamoto, mostly during long vacations.

Military charter

Airlines Destinations Ref
Republic of China Air Force Dongsha Island, Taiping Island  
Uni Air Dongsha Island  


Operations and Statistics [8]
Year Passenger
2009 3,661,023 54,382.0 40,335
2010 4,053,069 64,850.8 41,300
2011 4,050,980 55,364.4 42,596
2012 4,465,794 54,104.5 45,302
2013 4,646,222 55,112.0 46,721
2014 5,397,021 68,767.3 51,681
2015 6,001,487 63,030.8 55,685
2016 6,416,681 71,447.8 57,446
2017 6,479,183 81,555.3 51,768
2018 6,973,845 73,541.6 60,155
Busiest routes from Kaohsiung (2018) 
Rank Airport Passengers % Change 2018 / 17 Carriers
1 Hong Kong  Hong Kong 1,361,195 Decrease  9.4% China Airlines, Cathay Dragon
2 Taiwan  Penghu 838,439 Increase  5.5% Uni Air, Far Eastern Air Transport
3 Japan  Tokyo–Narita 602,818 Increase  14.2% China Airlines, EVA Air, Tigerair Taiwan, Japan Airlines, Vanilla Air
4 Japan  Osaka–Kansai 480,225 Decrease  5.3% China Airlines, EVA Air, Tigerair Taiwan, Peach, Scoot
5 Taiwan  Kinmen 446,423 Increase  6.0% Uni Air, Far Eastern Air Transport
6 Macau  Macau 382,272 Increase  2.1% EVA Air, Tigerair Taiwan, Air Macau
7 South Korea  Seoul–Incheon 339,657 Increase  43.9% China Airlines, EVA Air, Jeju Air, T’way Air
8 China  Shanghai–Pudong 291,415 Decrease  1.2% China Airlines, EVA Air, Juneyao Airlines, Spring Airlines
9 Vietnam  Ho Chi Minh City 269,026 Increase  22.6% Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air
10 Japan  Naha 219,588 Increase  203.5% China Airlines, Tigerair Taiwan, Peach

Accidents and incidents

  • On 15 February 1969, a Douglas C-47B B-241 of Far Eastern Air Transport was damaged beyond economic repair in an accident at Kaohsiung International Airport.[11]
  • On 27 June 1989, a Cessna 404 Titan of Formosa Airlines on its way to Wang-an, Penghu crashed into nearby Cianjhen District streets shortly after takeoff. All 12 people on board were killed; there were no ground casualties.[12]
  • On 23 July 2014, TransAsia Airways Flight 222 took off from Kaohsiung International Airport bound for Magong. The ATR 72-500 crashed into buildings during a second attempt to land in bad weather. Of the 58 people on board, only 10 survived. 5 people on the ground were injured and the crash caused a fire involving two homes.

Ground transportation[edit source]

  • Rail: The airport is served by Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Red line at Kaohsiung International Airport, providing access to Taiwan Railways at Kaohsiung main stationand Taiwan High Speed Rail at Zuoying. Both terminals are connected.
  • Coach: A one-way coach fare from Kaohsiung International Airport to Fangliao and Kenting is available.
  • Local bus: Both terminals are served by local buses
  • Car rental: a car rental centre is located between the terminals, near the airport bus stop.
  • Taxis: Yellow taxis are available. A roaming taxi stop is at right side of International Terminal. There are also 2 Queuing taxi stops can be found at the airport, one is at left side of International Terminal, another one is at the left side of Domestic Terminal.