Taiwan pilot's maiden flight with mainland airline
Updated: 2005-12-21 06:25
Zhang Lu-jen [R], a pilot from Taiwan,
celebrates his maiden flight with the Sichuan Airline with mainland
co-pilot Zhou Xiaojun after landing at the Capital International Airport
in Beijing December 20, 2005. Sichuan Airline is the first in the mainland
to recruit Taiwan pilots. [newsphoto]
CHENGDU: An Airbus A321 landing in the Capital International Airport in
Beijing made history yesterday morning.
The flight from Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province,
contained a pilot from Taiwan, Zhang Lu-zhen, who was among a small group from
the island province that started work yesterday.
Sichuan Airlines, which is employing the group of eight, is the first on the
mainland to enrol pilots from the island province, Gu Bing, deputy chief of the
Publicity Department of Sichuan Airlines, told China Daily.
Of the eight pilots, who have signed contracts of three to six years, five
have passed tests and received temporary flying licences from the Southwest
Branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). They are now
applying for formal licences from the CAAC, which normally takes about two
A temporary licence is valid for four months. The other three pilots are
going through formalities to apply for their temporary licences.
The five pilots who have been granted temporary licences are all about 40
years old, each with more than 15 years experience, notching up flight hours
ranging from 5,000 to 10,000.
The mainland, which has the world's fastest growing aviation market, has a
strong pull for pilots in Taiwan, according to Yan Jun, former chief of the
Taiwan Civil Aviation Pilots Association.
A survey conducted by the organization revealed nearly all of those
questioned expressed a willingness to work on the mainland, he said.