Direct cargo flight lands in Shanghai
By Xie Fang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-20 06:07
SHANGHAI: The first non-stop chartered cargo flight over the Taiwan Straits
touched down at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport at 0:33 this morning.
Flight CI 6901 of Taiwan-based
China Airlines (TCA) took off from Taoyuan Airport in Taipei at 10 pm, carrying
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company equipment. The Boeing 747-400 will
return to Taiwan empty.
||Airport workers load up a cargo plane from China Airlines, Taiwan's
largest air carrier, at Taiwan's international airport in Taipei July 19,
Although the airliner had to fly through Hong Kong airspace, the duration of
the journey had been shortened by nearly two hours to 2 hours and 50 minutes.
TCA applied to operate the flight immediately after the mainland's
Cross-Straits Aviation Transport Exchange Council and the Taipei Airlines
Association reached an agreement last month, stating that companies based on the
island will be allowed to use special chartered cargo aircraft to fly goods and
equipment over the Straits. Five cargo planes are due to operate in the
following weeks until August 10.
"This is a milestone in developing economic links across the Straits, and it
is the fruit of consultation by both sides," said Dong Guoliang, chief
representative of the TCA Shanghai office.
He said the non-stop flights will save one-fourth of the typical transport
He also said he hoped the types of cargo would be extended to include
semi-manufactured goods and even fruit rather than just mechanical and
Economic and trade relations across the Straits have developed rapidly over
the last few years. Export volume via cargo planes from Taiwan to the mainland
was US$24.9 billion in 2004, compared with US$4.4 billion in 1998.
All cargo flights across the Straits were previously required to stop in Hong
Kong. Taiwan airlines delivered goods there, which would then be transferred to
Shanghai via Dragonair or China Eastern Airlines. Only Dragonair's cargo flights
had the right not to reload the goods.
Accordingly, initiating non-stop cargo flights became an urgent issue.
Eva Airways Corp Ltd (EAC), a competitor of TCA, was also optimistic about