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Old May 3rd, 2009, 05:08 PM   #341
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Taiwan Pres Seeks 540 Direct Flights With China A Week-Report
2 May 2009

TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--Direct flights between Taiwan and China should be raised to 540 flights per week to satisfy demand, according to Taiwan's president, Ma Ying-jeou, the Commercial Times reported Saturday.

This comes after both sides signed agreements Sunday to raise this figure to 270 flights per week, and to convert these flights to scheduled flights from chartered flights, which will take effect within 60 days of signing.

Flights between China and Taiwan are currently at 108 chartered flights per week, which is one-fifth of demand, the Chinese-language daily cited Ma as saying.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #342
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Taiwan airlines to study lower airfares on routes to China
5 May 2009
Asia in Focus

TAIPEI, May 5 Asia in Focus - Taiwan carriers have promised to study the feasibility of lowering ticket prices for flights between Taiwan and China, an official of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Monday. The pledge was made earlier Monday after the agency met with the six Taiwanese carriers that operate cross-strait flight services to discuss how the increased number of flights between Taiwan and China agreed upon April 26 will be distributed.

* Many cross-strait travelers have complained about expensive airfares for the charter flights.

* "During Monday's meeting, we asked airline executives about the feasibility of cutting cross-strait ticket prices. They responded that there is room for discussion, but a final decision will depend on the market situation and the number of flights each airline is allowed to increase," the CAA official said.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #343
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More cross-Straits direct flights soon
6 May 2009
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

HONG KONG: The frequency of cross-Straits direct flights is likely to be raised to 500 flights per week in the second half of this year, from the current 108 flights per week, Zhang Guozheng, former director of Taiwan's civil aeronautics administration said yesterday.

"The mainland would replace the US as Taiwan's biggest consumer market after direct transportation links are established," said Zhang.

Zhang's remarks came on heels of last month's signing of an agreement between the two sides providing for an increase in the frequency of flights to 270 per week from the current 108 flights per week.

Prospects of a substantial expansion in cross-Straits direct flights also came in the wake of Taiwan leader Ma Ying Jeou's recent speech in which he called for an increase in the volume to 540 flights per week in order to meet rising demands.

The agreement also called for a conversion from the current chartered flights to scheduled flights which would be allowed to carry small- sized cargo.

Apart from direct passenger flights, the two sides agreed on direct freight flights last year at a pace of 30 flights per week, the results of which are undesirable because most of the goods delivered between the mainland and Taiwan are small enough to be loaded onto regular passenger flights, according to Zhang. The increasing weekly flights would meet such demands, he added.

Responding to questions on the impact to Hong Kong of the forging of direct transport links between Taiwan and the mainland, Zhang said Hong Kong has many advantages such as its well-established financial system and service industry while Taiwan excels in technology and manufacturing.

The two sides should bring out their best under the scheme of building the Greater China Economic Region, he said.

The closer ties between Taiwan and the mainland will pave the way for the formation of the Greater China Economic Region, in which Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland could each assume specific roles with the use of their respective comparative advantages that will result in a win-win situation for everyone, he said.

"Regional competitiveness is a current international trend. As a whole economic region, we are facing the challenge of competing with other counterparts," said Tang Ji-zong, director at Macau Association of Economic Sciences.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #344
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Flights Between Taipei and Shanghai to be Discussed This Summer

Taipei, May 7, 2009 (CENS)--The third round of Cross-strait talks ended late last month in Nanjing, China, with new flight routes added in addition to weekly regular flights growing to 270.

Moreover, six direct flights will fly to China, including Hefei of Anhui Province, Harbin of Heilongjiang Province, Nanchang of Jiangxi Province, Guiyang of Guizhou Province, Ningbo of Zhejiang Province, and Jinan of Shangdong Province.

However, Taiwan is eager to see direct flights between Taipei Songshan Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, discussion of which is slated to take place in the second half of this year during the fourth round of Cross-strait talks in Taipei.

Lee Lung-wen, director general of Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) in Taiwan, indicated that the fourth round of talks will address direct flights between Songshan and Hongqiao, which hopefully will be finalized by October.

The consensus is that direct flights between Songshan and Hongqiao will make returning to Taiwan easier for many Taiwanese working in Suzhou of Jiangsu Province, near Shanghai.

Besides, Taiwanese businessmen in China want the authorities to make available direct cargo flights to Xiamen of Fujian Province and Shenzhen of Guangdong Province.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #345
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Cross-strait air links to hit HK hard, study says
City to lose its stopover role

12 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Two-thirds of passenger flights between Hong Kong and Taiwan would be replaced by direct cross-strait flights following full implementation of the "three direct links" between the mainland and Taiwan, a study by a policy think-tank has concluded.

The study by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre also estimated that full implementation of the links would result in a 50 per cent reduction in air freight between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

But the five-month study, which was released yesterday, projected Hong Kong's annual gross domestic product would grow by an additional 0.94 of a percentage point - or HK$643 billion - by 2038 if the city formed a common market with the mainland and Taiwan.

The research centre, which is closely linked to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, proposed Hong Kong and Taiwan introduce reciprocal visa-free treatment and relaxation of work visas, as well as sign an economic co-operation agreement to facilitate bilateral ties.

The think-tank's chairman, Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, suggested Mr Tsang visit Taiwan, adding that the two governments should set up reciprocal offices.

Zhu Wenhui, a senior research fellow with the centre, said Hong Kong would lose about 50 per cent of its air freight volume between the city and Taiwan following full implementation of air, sea and postal services between the island and the mainland.

"In that scenario, two-thirds of existing passenger flights between Hong Kong and Taiwan would be replaced by direct cross-strait flights," Dr Zhu said.

Mainland and Taiwanese authorities agreed last month to lift the number of direct cross-strait flights from 108 to 270 a week from July. The new limit compares with just 36 such flights that mainland and Taiwanese carriers were allowed to operate - bypassing Hong Kong as a stopover - just 10 months ago. The inaugural mainland-Taiwan flight touched down in Taipei on July 4 last year.

"Hong Kong's role as a connecting point between the mainland and Taiwan would inevitably diminish in the short term, but our economy would stand to benefit as the 'cake' is getting bigger in light of closer cross-strait economic ties," Mr Wu said.

The centre recommended extending the time Taiwanese visitors were allowed to stay in Hong Kong from 30 days to two months - or even a year.

Hong Kong should also strive to become a cross-strait clearing centre for renminbi, according to the study.

The centre suggested upgrading the Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee, a new interdepartmental committee that is headed by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, to a body authorised by both governments to handle bilateral trade ties.

Dr Zhu said Hong Kong should seek new advice from the central government on ties between it and Taiwan so it could play a positive role in cross-strait relations.

A government spokesman said it would continue to complement the central government's policies on Taiwan and work to improve links and co-operation with the island.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #346
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湖北機場集團與台灣復興航空簽署合作協議 武漢直飛台灣定期航班有望7月實現
13 May 2009
中國民航報

通訊員林樺報道:台灣復興航空將爭取在今年7月前開通台灣與武漢之間的直飛定期航班,並根據市場發展不斷加大運力投放。在5月8日啟動的第六屆“湖北武漢台灣周”活動中,湖北機場集團總經理孟正國與台灣復興航空運輸股份有限公司總經理陳嘉共同簽署合作協議,這是雙方協議的主要內容。

根據協議,湖北機場集團將全力做好復興航空在武漢機場的地面保障服務,協助復興航空與機場相關保障部門溝通聯繫;同時幫助復興航空申請武漢航空發展引導資金,配合其做好市場開發、推廣工作。

台灣復興航空認為,湖北省是台商在大陸投資最多的省份之一,在國家宏觀戰略佈局和中部崛起中的戰略地位突出,經濟社會發展強勁,航空運輸產業前景廣闊;開通台灣、武漢兩地間的直達定期航班,可以增進台灣地區與湖北省兩地人民相互了解,搭建兩地交流與合作平臺,促進台商在湖北的投資發展和兩地間的經貿合作。

據了解,目前在武漢的台商、台屬以及臺企員工,約有5萬人。東航已開通的武漢直飛台灣的包機,每周一班,平均上座率達80%以上,有時甚至出現“一票難求”的現象。
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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:21 PM   #347
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Cathay says air deal has little impact
14 May 2009
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

HONG KONG: Direct flights between the mainland and Taiwan will not necessarily have a major adverse impact on Cathay Pacific as this will be mitigated by an expanded trade agreement that the central and SAR governments signed last Saturday, Cathay officials said.

Cathay chief operating officer John Slosar yesterday said the sixth supplement to the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) contains a provision which allows mainland travelers to use a single permit to travel both to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Under the new provision, mainland group tours bound for Taiwan can also enter Hong Kong in transit.

Slosar said this flexible arrangement can mean increased tourist traffic from the mainland to Hong Kong, and potentially benefit Cathay Pacific.

He said Cathay Pacific lobbied the Hong Kong government for help shortly after the mainland and Taiwan struck an agreement allowing direct cross-Straits flights.

Before the deal was made, travelers from the mainland needed to pass through Hong Kong before they could proceed to Taiwan, an arrangement which boosted Cathay's Hong Kong to Taiwan operations.

Slosar said the inclusion of easier entry to both Hong Kong and Taiwan came following Cathay Pacific's lobby on the Hong Kong government.

Cathay's cautious optimism on CEPA's possible boost to passenger traffic from the mainland came as other airline officials gave an update of further setbacks, as well as strides, in its core operations.

The airline said April traffic data showed a significant year-on-year drop in cargo tonnage, but this was offset somewhat by year-on-year gains in passenger traffic, as a result of an increase in passenger volume during the Easter holidays last month.

According to latest data, Cathay Pacific and unit Dragonair combined carried a total of 123,179 tonnes of cargo and mail in April, down 13.3 percent from a year earlier. Year-to-date, tonnage has fallen by 17.3 percent compared to a capacity drop of 13.6 percent.

Slosar said Cathay is keeping a tight lid on operating costs to counter the adverse effect of the economic downturn and it has no plans of going to the capital market for funds.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #348
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INTERVIEW-Taiwan, China to begin regular flights in July

TAIPEI, May 16 (Reuters) - Taiwan will begin regular flights with China in mid-July, the island's transport minister said on Saturday, a move that will benefit airlines on both sides and another sign of closer ties between the political rivals.

In April, top negotiators from Taiwan and China agreed to 270 regular scheduled flights a week, expanding air links from the current system of limited chartered flights, though they did not commit to a timetable then.

"Both sides have been closed from each other for too long," Taiwan's Transport Minister Mao Chi-kuo told Reuters in an interview. "We have to do things step by step, and the scheduled flights in mid-July should be a step in the right direction."
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Old May 18th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #349
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For Hong Kong, direct cross-strait flights means drop
18 May 2009
China Economic Review - Industries Updates

The replacement of flights between Hong Kong and Taiwan with direct links to the mainland could see a 50% reduction in air freight between Hong Kong and Taiwan

Two-thirds of passenger flights between Hong Kong and Taiwan would be replaced by direct cross-strait flights following full implementation of the ‘three direct links’ between the mainland and Taiwan, resulting in a 50% reduction in air freight between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The South China Morning Post reported that the results are part of a study by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, which also estimated projected Hong Kong’s annual gross domestic product would grow by an additional 0.94 of a percentage point ― around US$83 billion ― by 2038 if the city formed a common market with the mainland and Taiwan,

The research centre, which is closely linked to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, proposed Hong Kong and Taiwan introduce reciprocal visa-free treatment and relaxation of work visas, as well as sign an economic co-operation agreement to facilitate bilateral ties.

CargoNews Asia reports that the centre suggested upgrading the Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee, a new interdepartmental committee that is headed by Financial Secretary John Tsang, to a body authorised by both governments to handle bilateral trade ties.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:17 AM   #350
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TAIWAN'S TOURISM BUREAU REVISES INCENTIVE PLAN TO INCLUDE CHINA
25 May 2009
Asia Pulse

TAIPEI, May 25 Asia Pulse - Chinese tour operators who organize charter flights to Taiwan that bypass Taiwan's two main northern airports are now eligible for subsidies from the Tourism Bureau, after the bureau recently revised a tourism incentive program.

Under the modified regulations, Chinese travel agents will receive NT$160,000 (US$4,878) per charter as long as it does not use Taipei City's Songshan Airport and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and carries at least 100 foreign passengers who stay a minimum of two days in Taiwan.

Tourism Bureau officials said that if the charters either take off or land at one of the two northern airports, or carry between 50 and 100 passengers, the charter operators will be eligible for partial subsidies.

The incentive is designed to expose foreign tourists to parts of the country outside of the popular northern gateways, including its outlying islands, bureau officials said.

The vast majority of the current 108 direct charter flights between Taiwan and China per week use one of the two northern airports even though a total of eight local airports have been authorized to handle the direct charters.

Of the 108 direct charters per week, only four serve the southern port city of Kaohsiung and only two serve Taichung in central Taiwan.

The Tourism Bureau launched the incentive program in May 2005 to encourage travel agents, primarily in Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and South Korea, to organize large groups to visit Taiwan.

With the rising number of Chinese tourists visiting the country since the beginning of the year, the Tourism Bureau recently decided to include China in the incentive program to channel more Chinese visitors to other parts of Taiwan.

Taiwan still has a daily quota of 3,000 Chinese tourist arrivals per day.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 01:07 PM   #351
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Air Macau positions itself as cross-strait flights commence
31 May 2009
Taipei Times

Seizing on the opportunities created by the launch of weekend charter flights between Taiwan and China, Air Macau said it was ready to promote Macau as a destination in its own right with attractive offers, Jo Wu, manager of the airline's marketing department, said yesterday.

The weekend charter flights are scheduled to begin on Friday, based on accords signed in Beijing on June 13 by Taiwan and China. A total of 36 flights will be operated by Taiwanese and Chinese carriers on the direct route.

Passengers traveling between the two sides of the strait on weekends will no longer have to go via Hong Kong or Macau.

However, in order to sustain the Taiwan-Macau route - on which Air Macau operates 12 flights daily - Wu said the carrier was offering different packages to promote Macau as more than just a transit point.

"We at Air Macau hope that the packages and offers will enhance Macau's tourism industry," Wu said. "Air Macau must make greater efforts to promote Macau amid the launch of the cross-strait nonstop charter flights."

Wu mentioned a package that offers a discount of NT$1,000 (US$33) to each passenger traveling in groups of four, saying the deal had been well received last month and that the airline would continue the promotional offer.

In addition, starting today, Air Macau passengers who buy flight and accommodation packages will have the option to visit Hong Kong Disneyland for an extra NT$1,900 (US$62.50), which covers one-way transportation from Macau to Hong Kong, a shuttle bus service between the Hong Kong pier and Disneyland, and admission, she said.

"Hong Kong and Macau must work together in light of the changing market," Wu said.

Discounting fears that the direct charter flights could squeeze out Air Macau, Gary Yang, general manager of the airline's Taiwan marketing and sales division, said it had no plans to cut the number of flights on the Taiwan-Macau route.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 07:29 AM   #352
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CAA yet to sign off on cross-strait flights
31 May 2009
Taipei Times

Though cross-strait charter flight services are scheduled to be launched this Friday, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has yet to settle certain issues regarding the flight schedules.

CAA director general Billy Chang said yesterday in the Legislature's Transportation Committee that Mandarin Airlines had decided to cancel its pilot flight, as it had failed to attract enough customers.

The flight was originally scheduled to leave on Friday at 3:30am from Taoyuan to Nanjing.

On its return trip, the airplane will land in Taitung instead.

The cancellation of the flight made CAA the target of criticism from lawmakers, who said that the administration was not doing enough to help local governments in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Bureau confirmed yesterday that 687 Chinese tourists will be arriving at either the Taoyuan International Airport or Taipei's Songshan Airport on Friday.

The tourists will be divided into 25 groups and will be received by eight Taiwanese travel agencies.

Earlier, the bureau had announced that 600 Chinese tourists would be arriving this weekend, who would then be divided into six groups after landing at six different airports around the nation.

Shao Qiwei, chairman of the Cross-Strait Travel Association, will arrive as planned, the bureau said.

The first flight is scheduled to arrive at Taoyuan from Guangzhou at 8:10am on Friday.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators said yesterday that chaos would ensue as the government was not ready for the inauguration of regular cross-strait charter flights.

DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying told a press conference at the legislature that the government had not elaborated on security measures and epidemic control at airports for the cross-strait charter flights.

She said the government should open the country to Chinese tourists step by step, not in a rush.

She said that the government welcomes Chinese tourists while it ignores tourists from other countries, which is unfavorable to the tourism industry.

DPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen said the number of Taiwanese tourists to China is expected to increase to over 6 million per year soon after the inauguration of regular cross-strait charter flights.

Taiwanese tourist are expected to spend around NT$180 billion (US$6 billion) in China per year.

But because China will only allow 1,000 tourists to visit Taiwan per day, which analysts say will only bring in around NT$10 billion per year in revenue.

Following the disappearance of three Chinese tourists from their hotel in Jhongli, Taoyuan County, on Friday morning, Lin said the opening of Taiwan to Chinese tourists would open a channel to those Chinese who want to illegally immigrate to Taiwan.

Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, reached an agreement on cross-strait charter flights on June 13.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 01:46 PM   #353
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Taiwan Grants China Air, EVA Air 30 China Flights Each Per Wk
2 June 2009

TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--Taiwan's aviation regulator said Tuesday it granted China Airlines Ltd. (2610.TW) and EVA Airways Corp. (2618.TW) 30 flights to China every week under agreements expanding cross-Strait air links.

Taiwan and China agreed in late April to expand air transport links across the Taiwan Strait, and increased the total number of daily flights to 270 per week from 108 currently. Of the 135 flights allocated to Taiwan, 113 would be scheduled flights, and the remaining 22 would be chartered flights, Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration said in a statement.

The statement didn't say when the expanded flight frequencies will start, but Jessie Chang, an official at the regulator's planning division, said the flights would begin in July "at the earliest."

China Airlines is Taiwan's largest airline by revenue, while EVA Air is the second-largest.

China Airlines' unit Mandarin Airlines Ltd. and EVA's affiliate UNI Airways Corp. each received separate quotas of 25 daily direct flights per week, while Transasia Airways Corp. is allowed to operate 24 flights, the Taiwanese regulator said.

Mandarin and UNI Air will also rotate every three months on another flight on the Taichung-Shenzhen route.

Frequencies on the Shanghai route are limited to 28 flights a week because of the congested air space around the Chinese city. China Airlines and EVA would each fly 11 flights a week to Shanghai, and Transasia will operate the remaining six, according to the allocation.

Taiwan and China also agreed to increase cross-Strait cargo flights to 28 per week, or 112 per month, from the current 60 flights a month, and to upgrade them to scheduled flights.

China Airlines and EVA can each operate seven cargo flights per week, to Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to Taiwan's allocation.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #354
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New cross-strait flight schedule released by CAA
3 June 2009
Taipei Times

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) finalized the distribution of regular cross-strait flights yesterday, with close to half of the flights granted to the nation's two largest airlines.

While the agency reserved 15 flights per week for financially strapped Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT), it will let other airlines share these flights until FAT resumes operations.

Civil Aeronautics Administration Director-General Lee Lung-wen said his agency was still reviewing FAT's application to resume business.

FAT has secured a district court's approval to restructure its finances and has scheduled a stakeholders meeting later this month.

"The company may not acquire the funding it needs to restructure its finances if it is denied the right to operate cross-strait flights, so we decided to reserve 15 flights for it," Lee said.

"But before FAT has functional and safe aircraft to provide cross-strait flights, each of the five other airlines will get three additional flights," Lee said. "When FAT has sufficient aircraft, the other five airlines will gradually hand back these flights to it."

Even if FAT resumes operations, it cannot apply to fly to a specific city in China, Lee said. It can only use the number of flights reserved for it and fly to cities that no other airline wants to service.

The CAA also completed the distribution of 135 weekly cross-strait flights. The number of flights was determined at the third-round of cross-strait talks in April.

China Airlines and EVA Air will provide 30 flights per week, including those from FAT's portion. UNI Air and Mandarin Airlines will each have 25 flights and TransAsia Airways will have 24.

One weekly flight from Taichung to Shengchun will be offered, with UNI and Mandarin taking turns offering the flight in three-month segments.

While cross-strait talks agreed that flights could be offered to 27 Chinese cities, the airlines are only interested in 19. Shanghai is the most popular destination, with 28 flights a week departing from either Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport or Taipei Songshan Airport.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #355
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Regular cross-strait flights to begin in July
3 June 2009
The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The scheduled flights between Taiwan and China are set to take off in July to meet strong market demand, announced Director General Lee Lung-wen of Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) following completion of allocating the flights among air carriers.

Taiwan's two largest carriers, China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Airways, will each operate 30 of the 135 scheduled flights per week to and from destinations in China, according to Lee.

Their respective affiliates, Mandarin Airlines and UNI Airways will provide 25 weekly two-way flights across the Taiwan Strait.

TransAsia Airways will operate 24, he said.

The remaining one flight will serve the route connecting central Taichung City and Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong Province. It will be run by UNI Airways and Mandarin alternately.

Among the 19 top popular destinations in China, Shanghai will be most heavily served by the Taiwan carriers, with 28 flights scheduled every week for that Chinese city, Lee said.

Nine flights will depart from each of the two airports in northern Taiwan íX the Songshan Airport in Taipei City and the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan County.

There will also be two weekly flights from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to Shanghai, he added.

Other Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shenzhen, will also be served by at least 10 two-way cross-strait flights per week from July, Lee said. Under an accord inked in April by Taiwan and China that will take effect on June 25, the two sides agreed to expand air links from the current 108 charters to 270 scheduled flights per week, with each side to operate 135, Lee explained.

All airlines will formally file applications with authorities in Taipei and Beijing late this month for the expanded service in July.

Sharing FAT flights

Of the 135 flights, 15 were reserved for Far East Air Transport Corp. (FAT) which is still struggling to resume its flight operations following one-year suspension caused by financial woes, Lee explained.

But the quota of 15 flights for FAT will be temporarily shared by the five air carries with each taking up three flights as FAT is still íºunder probationí¿ before completing its restructuring plan.

The first step for FAT is to repair and maintain at least three passenger jets before winning approval for resuming operations from the CAA under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).

The 15 flights temporarily assigned to other carriers will be gradually returned to FAT depending on the progress of the company's business recovery plan, Lee added.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 05:51 PM   #356
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CAA finalizes distribution of cross-strait flights
5 June 2009
Taipei Times

Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Lee Lung-wen said yesterday that EVA Airways Corp, China Airlines Ltd (CAL, ) and TransAsia Airways Corp will take turns providing one weekly flight from Taichung to Shanghai.

"The arrangement was made because of strong requests from local legislative representatives in Taichung," Lee said, adding that each company would offer the service in two-month segments.

Lee also said that the airlines were reluctant to offer the service because they may not find enough customers for it. It would also affect the use of their aircraft, he said.

On Monday, the CAA finalized the distribution of 135 weekly cross-strait flights after the number of flights was determined at the third-round of cross-strait talks in April.

Under the arrangements, the nation's two largest air carriers, CAL and EVA, will be allowed to provide 30 flights per week each.

The two smaller carriers, UNI Airways Corp and Mandarin Airlines Ltd, will each have 25 flights, while TransAsia Airways will have 24, CAA said in a statement. Mandarin is a unit of CAL, while UNI is under EVA.

The CAA also arranged for one weekly flight from Taichung to Shengchun, with UNI and Mandarin taking turns offering the service in three-month segments.

Lee said that the schedules for cross-strait regular flights would be adjusted every six months.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #357
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EVA Air to launch flights to Chengdu in July
15 May 2009
The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- EVA Airways, one of the major air carriers in Taiwan, has decided to inaugurate the Taipei-Chengdu direct flight route, starting July, to help residents of Sichuan Province to come visit Taiwan and enable Taiwanese people to visit the homeland of the pandas in the shortest time.

EVA Air will adopt the A330-200 plane to fly the new route every Tuesday, which has a loading capacity of 252 passengers.

The departing flight, coded B7-197, will take off 4:35 p.m. every Tuesday from the Taoyuan International Airport and arrive at the ShuangLiu International Airport of Chengdu, the capital city of the Sichuan Province, at 8:10 p.m.

The returning flight, coded B7-198, will take off 9:10 p.m. Tuesday from the ShuangLiu Airport and arrive at the Taoyuan 0:30 a.m., Wednesday. One-way flight will take 3.5 hours to complete.y

In similar news, Taiwan's Trans Asia Airways will also launch the Songshan-Wuhan direct flight route in July, operating one to two flights on the new route. This will make Wuhan become the fourth mainland Chinese city for Trans Asia to operate direct flights across the Taiwan Strait, behind Shanghai, Hanzhou and Dalian.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #358
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Air China to increase direct flights to Taipei
10 June 2009
South China Morning Post

Air China says it will increase direct flights between the mainland and Taiwan 170 per cent to 27 a week as early as the end of August following the expanded air-service pact signed last month by Beijing and Taipei.

The Beijing-based airline said the load factor - a measure of the proportion of seats sold - on its current 10 weekly flights from six mainland cities to Taipei was 78 per cent.

Thanks to the load factor and relatively higher ticket prices, those routes were profitable, Air China managing director Lou Yongfeng said on the sidelines of an industry meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The mainland and Taiwan governments have expanded the number of flights to 270 a week from 108 in an effort to promote cross-strait tourism and business.

Air China is operating the direct flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Chongqing and Tianjin.

More mainland cities would be added to the routes, but the plan was still under review, while Taiwan destinations outside Taipei were unlikely, Mr Lou said.

The airline expected domestic passenger volume to increase 10 per cent this year and regional routes to see 8 to 10 per cent growth, partly helped by expanded capacity on the Taiwan routes, he said.

But international routes would remain under pressure this year, although the downturn would moderate in the second half, Mr Lou said.

Passenger numbers from South Korea dropped 30,000 in the first quarter, and demand was expected to be soft because of the won's depreciation. Demand from Japan grew in April after dropping in the first quarter, the airline said.

Long-haul routes to the United States recorded a 7 per cent year-on-year drop in passenger numbers in the first quarter as bookings for front-end cabin, business and first-class seats took a dive, it said.

New aircraft would be deployed on domestic routes, such as to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu, and no new routes would be added to Europe this year, Air China said. It would replace some Boeing 747s with smaller planes like the Airbus 330 for European routes.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #359
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TAIWAN'S TAICHUNG CITY PINS DEVELOPMENT HOPES ON AIRPORT

TAIPEI, June 10 Asia Pulse - A Taiwan government blueprint to build a terminal for international flights at Taichung City's Chingchuankang Airport will definitely boost the central city's development, Deputy Mayor Hsiao Chia-chi said Tuesday.

Construction of the facility will help the city move a step forward toward its desire to build an aviation park near the airport by linking adjacent areas that can be developed into a warehousing and commercial zone, Hsiao said.

The city government also looks forward to setting up a network that will connect the airport, Taichung Harbor, the Central Taiwan Science Park and the city center to give an additional boost to local development, he explained.

Hsiao's remarks came after the Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) a day earlier approved an "overall development project and first-phase construction plan for an international airport in central Taiwan" submitted by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Under the project, the central government will earmark NT$3.9 billion (US$118.9 million) to build Chinachuankang Airport's international terminal by 2012, with the aim of serving 1.35 million passengers per year and promoting the international charter flight business in central Taiwan.

The CEPD plans to make Chingchuankang Airport into a regional hub serving passenger charter flights and cross-Taiwan Strait routes.

The central Taiwan airport served 1.1 million passengers last year, with 640,000 flying on domestic routes, while its international traffic volume has continued to grow in recent years.

According to CEPD statistics, the airport served a total of 461,575 travelers on international charter flights in 2008, compared with 3,528 in 2004.

Although Shanghai is the most popular Chinese destination among Taiwanese carriers, none have applied to ply the Taichung-Shanghai route due to the limitations of Chingchuankang Airport, which can only accommodate smaller planes with a seat capacity of some 100 passengers, despite the fact that scheduled cross-strait flights are set to be expanded in July.

In response to rising local demand, the CAA has asked China Airlines (TAIEX:2610), EVA Airways (TAIEX:2618) and Trans Asia Airways, all of which fly to Shanghai from either Taipei or Kaohsiung, to offer one flight per week each from Chingchuankang Airport to Shanghai.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #360
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Air China cuts international capacity but plans no deferrals
Friday June 12, 2009
http://www.atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=16896

Air China is cutting its international capacity owing to the market downturn but will not go so far as to defer any aircraft deliveries this year, MD Lou Yongfeng told ATWOnline at this week's IATA annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Lou noted that the Beijing-based carrier's international load factor dropped 3.5 points in the first four months of 2009 from the year-ago period, although he did not reveal the exact figure. "And we are having a difficult time in May and now owing to swine flu, so we have to cut some international capacity," he explained. CA expects a recovery in the international market before year end and does not plan on opening any new routes for the rest of the year.

It has replaced 747s with A330s on some long-haul routes but has no intention to alter its fleet plan. "We will take delivery of more than 20 short-haul aircraft and medium-haul aircraft as scheduled this year and won't cancel or defer aircraft orders," Lou said firmly. Regarding the delay in the 15 787s it has ordered, CA said it is still negotiating with Boeing on compensation. Chairman Kong Dong said last month that the airline plans to purchase more widebodies starting in 2011 (ATWOnline, May 5).

Compared with the international market, CA's domestic operation is faring much better. "Our load factor on domestic routes jumped 11 points from January through April over the year-ago period," Lou said. CA expects domestic passenger boardings in 2009 to increase 10%. It transported 28 million total passengers last year.

Its flights across the Taiwan Strait are another source of growth. He said loads are averaging 78%. CA currently operates 57 weekly cross-strait flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Tianjin.

Separately, Lou revealed that its Wuhan Branch Co. has been approved by CAAC and preparation for launch is underway. It has recruited about 600 employees from Wuhan-based East Star Airlines, which is under bankruptcy.
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