Home>News Center>China

Holiday flights virtually sold out in Taiwan
Updated: 2006-01-19 19:58

Charter flights between Taiwan and the mainland for the coming Chinese New Year holiday are virtually sold out in a significant increase in bookings over last year, the major Taiwanese airlines said Thursday.

Beginning Friday, six Taiwanese airlines and six Chinese mainland airlines will provide a total of 72 round-trip charter flights until February 13, under an agreement worked out by civil aviation associations of the two sides.

This is the third year that the Chinese New Year charter flights have been in operation. In 2003 and 2005 they were limited to Taiwanese business people residing on the mainland, but this year Taiwanese students and tourists have also been allowed to book space.

The major Taiwanese airlines said the decision has been a boon to business.

"Business is much better than last year, because there are no restrictions anymore on the kinds of passengers," said Bruce Chen, a spokesman for China Airlines, the island's largest carrier. "All flights are full in economy, and there are only some seats left in first class."

Taiwan's second carrier, EVA Airways, also said the flights looked like a success.

"Flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to Taiwan are completely booked, and those in the other direction are up to 90 percent full," said spokesman K.W. Nieh.

Chinese people traditionally spend the New Year holiday with relatives, and with several hundred thousand Taiwanese on the mainland, the charter flights have a built in market.

Direct air links between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan ended when the two sides split amid civil war in 1949. Travelers on commercial flights are required to transfer at third point _ usually Hong Kong.

Taiwan has been reluctant to allow the direct flights because of security concerns.

100,000 stranded at railway station
Job fair in Hangzhou
Premier Wen meet with Greek PM in Beijing
  Today's Top News     Top China News

Bin Laden threatens attacks, offers truce



Wen: Rural area development key for stability



Nationwide crime rate shows drop



China, US to discuss nuke issues



Taiwan appoints 5th 'premier' since 2000



Unmanned spacecraft hurtles toward Pluto


  Snow paralyzes railways, 160,000 passengers held up
  'Year of Italy in China' launched in Beijing
  Ancient civilizations look ahead to new era
  Unemployment to remain at 4.6%
  China, US to discuss nuke issues
  Taiwan appoints 5th 'premier' since 2000
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.