Non-stop cross-Straits flight touches down
Updated: 2006-01-20 14:32
The first Lunar New Year flight between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan
landed in Shanghai Friday morning, kicking off the now annual frenzy of
passengers taking advantage of the holidays to fly directly across the Straits.
Taiwan are all smile when they arrive in Shanghai January 20, 2006,
lifting the curtain of Spring Festival chartered flights between Taiwan
and the mainland. [newsphoto]
The fully booked China Airlines charter flight landed at Shanghai's Pudong
Airport at 10:34 am (0234 GMT) after departing Taipei two-and-a-half hours
"It landed smoothly and ahead of schedule," said Xu Liye, a China Air manager
in Shanghai. A return charter flight is scheduled to leave Shanghai around
This is the third year that charter flights have operated between the Chinese
mainland and Taiwan for the Lunar New Year, which falls on January 29 this year.
Six mainland and six Taiwan airlines will offer services until mid-February
connecting Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan with the mainland's Shanghai, Beijing,
Guangzhou and Xiamen.
The 12 companies will operate 72 flights this year, compared with 48 flights
Compared with 2003 and 2005, the charter flights this year will not only
serve Taiwan businessmen and their relatives on the mainland, but all Taiwan
residents bearing valid travel documents across the Straits.
According to incomplete statistics, more than 300,000 Taiwan people working,
studying or living in the Chinese mainland travel back to the island during the
holiday season of the Chinese lunar New Year every year.
Industry sources expect the number of passengers who choose the charter
flights this year would grow 50 percent from last year.
Taiwan normally bans direct transport links with the mainland, only allowing
exchanges with stops in third ports.