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Old June 16th, 2009, 03:51 PM   #361
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CAA says delayed PRC flight encountered storm
Communication between the Shanghai Airlines flight and the control tower at Songshan Airport showed that the pilot turned back to avoid bad weather

16 June 2009
Taipei Times

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday released more details concerning a cross-strait flight that landed in Taipei 24 hours late after returning to Shanghai to avoid bad weather.

The CAA disclosed communication transcripts between Shanghai Airlines flight FM80Y and the control tower in Taipei, in which it was clear that inclement weather prevented the flight from landing in Taipei.

The Shanghai Airlines flight was scheduled to arrive at Taipei Songshan Airport on Saturday morning.

After the pilot announced that the plane would soon land in Taipei, he turned back to Shanghai Pudong International Airport because of bad weather.

The passengers spent the night at Pudong airport, reboarding on Sunday. When they finally arrived in Taipei, passengers protested the decision to return to Shanghai on Saturday by refusing to embark for 30 minutes.

Wei Sheng-chih, director of Taipei International Airport Office, said yesterday the CAA was responsible for determining whether the pilot's claims of bad weather could be substantiated.

"As to why tourists were stranded at Shanghai for a day, it may have something to do with Shanghai Airlines' deployment of airplanes, flight attendants and pilots," Wei said. "We cannot speak for them on those matters."

The transcripts showed that the pilot contacted the Taipei Area Control Center before the aircraft approached Sulem, the flight control exchange point for cross-strait flights, at 10:28am on Saturday, asking for permission to deviate slightly from its course and fly east to avoid a thunderstorm.

The center consulted the military's air operation center and agreed to the pilot's request at 10:30am.

At 10:49am, the Shanghai Area Control Center asked the Taipei Area Control Center to instruct the pilot to fly westward.

The pilot said "the weather was really bad" and that he could soon get back on course if he continued eastward.

In the meantime, the aircraft was flying southward toward the Taiwan Strait, which no civilian flights are allowed to enter.

At 10:51am, the pilot requested permission to return to Pudong. Seven minutes later, the flight was again put under the control of the Shanghai Area Control Center.

Wang Kun-chou, chief of the CAA's Air Navigation and Weather Services, yesterday presented satellite charts for between 9am and 11am on Saturday, showing that there was a solid stationary front about 60km to 70km wide in the flight's path.

Wang said the super cell storm system had a cloud height of 13,700m, while the flight was flying at an altitude of 10,300m. The flight could not have avoided the thunderstorm had it continued on its path.

"Considering the weather, we would advise against taking that risk," Wang said. "But a pilot can determine if he is able to fly through a storm."

Sheri Chen, deputy director of the Taipei Area Control Center, said the pilot had not requested to land at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport instead of Songshan.

Chen said other flights flew through the storm at about the same time, but the planes were different models and slight differences in timing may have meant different weather conditions.

"Based on the transcripts, the pilot sounded normal and was trying to solve the issue of landing," Chen said.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 06:10 PM   #362
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CHANGSHA-TAIPEI CHARTER FLIGHTS TO BE INCREASED IN JULY
Asia Pulse

TAIPEI, June 19
Direct charter flight services between Taiwan and Hunan capital Changsha will be expanded from the current one flight per week to eight flights per week in July, an official from China's Hunan province said Friday in Taipei.

Hunan province's Vice Governor Gan Lin, in Taiwan to promote travel exchanges, said the decision was made after planning for a cross-Taiwan Strait forum on economic, trading and cultural issues between Taiwan's Kuomintang and China's Communist Party was completed. The annual forum, set to take place in Changsha on July 11-12, is the fifth of its kind.

Taipei-Changsha flight services were launched Jan. 15, with China's Xiamen Airlines operating one flight per week. In July, the carrier will add one more flight on the route while Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines, and Taiwan's China Airlines (TAIEX:2610) and TransAsia Airways will all offer two flights per week between the destinations, Gan said. Among the main attractions in Hunan province is its natural forest park, Zhangjiajie, listed as one of the world's natural legacies.

According to statistics from Hunan provincial travel authorities, the number of Taiwanese visitors to the southern China province reached 164,000 in 2008, 11.3 per cent more than a year earlier. In the first five months of 2009, 86,000 Taiwanese visited Hunan, 7.7 per cent higher compared with the same period a year ago, statistics show.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 04:08 PM   #363
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Taiwan Govt: Hope Cross-Strait Scheduled Flights To Start Aug
22 June 2009

TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--Taiwan hopes cross-Strait scheduled flights will start sometime in August, which is likely the earliest the flights can begin as China still needs time to process applications from airlines, Taiwan Civil Aeronautics Administration Director General Lee Long-Wen said Tuesday.

"Of course, we prefer them to start earlier," said Lee. He said the two sides are still in talks on the timing of the flights and declined to discuss the matter further.

In early June, Taiwan completed the allocation of cross-Strait routes to its five commercial carriers. The Chinese government has yet to allocate flights to its carriers.

The Commercial Times reported Tuesday, citing unnamed industry sources, that it takes 60 days for China to process applications from its airlines to begin scheduled flights and set up branches in Taiwan.

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.

Of the 135 flights allocated to Taiwan, 113 are scheduled flights and 22 are chartered flights, Taiwan's aviation regulator said June 2.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #364
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TAIWAN WANTS REGULAR CROSS-STRAIT FLIGHTS TO START BEFORE AUG. 31

TAIPEI, June 24 Asia Pulse - China has proposed Aug. 31 as the date for the launch of regularly scheduled cross-Taiwan Strait flights, but Taiwan is hoping that the date could be brought forward, a spokesman for the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) confirmed Tuesday.

"Taiwan and China have yet to decide on the start date for the 270 regular two-way flights per week," said Yeh Yung-ching, a CAA section chief who is in charge of the matter.

Commenting on a media report that the CAA and Taiwanese carriers have reached a decision that the ticket prices for cross-strait flights will be lowered by about 15 per cent, Yeh said that the CAA simply urged the airlines to make some price adjustments in response to widespread public complaints about the cost.

Taiwan and China reached an agreement in April, in their third round of negotiations, to increase the number of cross-strait flights from the current 108 to 270 per week. But the two sides have yet to agree on a date for the implementation of the plan.

Since direct air travel between Taiwan and China kicked off in July last year, passenger loads on cross-strait charters have risen from 65 per cent to an average of 78.8 per cent, CAA statistics showed.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #365
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China, Taiwan working on regular flights
25 June 2009
The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Chinese authorities are liasing with the Taiwanese government and airlines to work out the implementation of planned cross-strait regular commercial flights, scheduled to commence later this summer.

The unprecedented commercial flights come as a result of a supplementary cross-strait agreement on air transport signed between the two sides, which replaces existing daily charter flights with regular commercial services.

The mainland will also work with industry insiders in Taiwan to boost tourism to its outlying islands, and will support efforts to compile a cross-strait Chinese dictionary.

The comments were made at a press conference held in Beijing yesterday by Fan Liqing, spokesperson for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO). Fan pointed out that much work still needed to be done on the expanded air services deal, which goes into effect on June 26.

Civil aviation authorities were liasing with the Taiwanese side on matters such as air traffic control, flight routes and timetables, and other commercial arrangements. She pointed out that closer cooperation would be required between the two sides as regular commercial flights differ from charter flights, and the number of flights between the sides will be greatly increased.

In relation to air fares, she remarked that fares were set by airlines according to market conditions.

When asked about the mainland's attitude towards the construction of casinos on Penghu, islands belonging to Taiwan in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, Fan pointed out that the mainland forbid its tourists from organizing or participating in gambling trips overseas. However, the mainland would work with the travel industry in Taiwan through the Cross-Straits Tourism Exchange Association to promote the natural beauty of Penghu and Taiwan's other offshore islands.

Support for a Cross-Strait Chinese Dictionary

Responding to suggestions by academics from both sides of the strait that a cross-strait Chinese dictionary be compiled, Fan said that the TAO was fully supportive of such efforts, as the usage of many terms continued to differ on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

She said that such a dictionary would be helpful in light of the increasingly frequent exchanges between the two sides, and would be a useful tool for all Chinese.

Asked whether the creation of this dictionary would be a topic for discussion at the fifth cross-strait economic and cultural forum, a forum organized by the Chinese Communist and Nationalist parties, Fan said that anything related to cultural or educational exchanges is open for discussion. The forum will take place between July 10 and 12 in Changsha, Hunan.

Kinmen Youth Groups to go on Mainland Exchange

The Junior Chamber International and Kinmen Youth Foundation, two youth groups based in Kinmen, will lead a hundred youths to participate in the fourth cross-strait youths festival, to be held between July 17 and 21 in Fuzhou and Taining in Fujian province.

The trip is meant to serve as an opportunity for exchange between youths on the two sides, and the five day, four nights tour will take participants to major attractions in Fuzhou and Taining, including a UNESCO Geopark located there.

Any person aged between eighteen and thirty from Taiwan can apply. The trip costs NT$3,400 and includes the boat fare from Kinmen to Fujian, accommodation and food, and travel insurance. Applicants who are admitted on grounds that they have a special talent will enjoy a discounted price of NT$2,900. The application deadline is June 30.

Those interested should call 0980262989 or 0982640287.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 07:56 AM   #366
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Tying the Taiwan knot
26 June 2009
Shanghai Daily

Cross-strait links are getting closer, and Shanghai is a magnet for more than 200,000 Taiwanese settlers, some say as many as 500,000. Here's a look at a few islanders on the Chinese mainland. Tan Weiyun and Xinhua report. Since direct chartered flights between Shanghai and Taipei were launched last December, the link between the two cities has become even closer.

It was announced early this week that travelers from Shanghai can now book cheap tickets directly online and no longer have to deal with travel agencies or airline companies. The price is now 15 percent lower than in December.

The Lianyang Community in Shanghai's Pudong, Gubei area in Minhang District and Hongqiao in Changning District have become the three major areas with the highest number of residents from Taiwan.

Shanghai is a vital business link between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. City statistics show that since the early 1990s, Taiwan merchants have invested in more than 7,100 projects in Shanghai, with a contract capital of US$21 billion.

In addition, the city receives a steady flow of Taiwanese tourists for sightseeing and others who visit their relatives on the Chinese mainland. Each year, there are more than 1.5 million person-trips between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland through the port of Shanghai. This represents one-fourth of the city's total.

A recent survey shows that more than 200,000 Taiwanese have settled in Shanghai, according to Yang Jianrong, director of the Shanghai Taiwan Affairs Office.

Meanwhile, quite a large number is working in nearby Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces but living in Shanghai.

"Thus the exact number of Taiwanese in Shanghai exceeds 200,000, maybe 300,000 to 500,000," says Yang.

Parenting blogger

Taiwanese writer Gao Ying has been living in Shanghai for seven years and has become a celebrity among mothers on the Chinese mainland.

Her blog, focusing on parenting, on the popular mainland Website sina.com, has attracted about 3 million hits in the past two years. She published a book on parenting in January and two more books are coming out soon.

But before she moved to Shanghai in 2002, Gao was mostly known for travel books that introduced ethnic minorities on the mainland. They were popular on the island in the 1990s.

"I moved to Shanghai because my daughter went to a college of traditional Chinese medicine here," Gao says. "I was thinking about writing something new because I might not be able to compete with writers here in writing about the Chinese mainland."

A friend suggested a new direction. "Very few writers wrote about parenting on the mainland and I have an advantage. I am a mother of a boy and a girl. I have hosted radio and television programs about parenting. And I am from Taiwan, sharing a similar culture with the mainland," she says.

In 2007, she started the blog. "I want to learn more about what Chinese mainland mothers are thinking and worrying about. I have many friends online now."

From Taiwan to the mainland, her life and career changed. "No matter how successful I was in Taiwan, I feel new here," she says.

An estimated 1 million Taiwanese live on the Chinese mainland, where some expand their careers and some begin to realize their dreams.

Farmer's ambition

During the hour-and-40-minute flight from Fuzhou city in Fujian Province to Beijing, Huang Yi-chung buries himself in work, even too busy for a sip of water.

Running a Taiwan fruit company, Huang has three wholesale centers and 13 outlets on the Chinese mainland, selling 5 to 10 tons of Taiwan fruit a day.

"I'm just an ordinary Taiwanese farmer, doing business across the Strait," he says. "I have realized my dream of introducing Taiwan's best fruit to the Chinese mainland, and next I will grow it here."

He was among the first group of Taiwanese farmers to come to the Chinese mainland after it lifted duty on 10 varieties of Taiwan fruit in May 2005.

But many were deterred by transport issues. Taiwan fruit had to be shipped to the Chinese mainland via Hong Kong or Japan as direct shipping was banned across the Taiwan Strait at that time.

"It took at least six days and we had to dump them after the 15-day shelf life," he says.

Huang recalls he once threw away 1,200 boxes of rotten fruit. "I cried. All of them were grown with our hard work," he recalls.

But he persisted. "I always had confidence in the mainland market and mostly in the development of the cross-strait relationship."

After two years of hard work, Chinese mainland customers began to recognize his brand and his toughest problem was solved when direct shipping resumed between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in December last year, cutting transport costs by two-thirds.

"I hope to expand my fruit shops to 300 cities on the Chinese mainland," he says.

He is also applying to build a trading center for Taiwan produce in Xiamen city in Fujian Province.

"It will be a platform for Taiwanese farmers to market their products and for agriculturists to introduce the island's latest technologies," he says.

Speaking Mandarin

Wearing a checked shirt and baggy jeans, Shen Chih-sheng looks like his classmates and other young people in a small cafe near the Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University in Fuzhou.

Seven years ago when he first entered a high school classroom in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, he was very "Taiwan."

"I did not know who Lei Feng (a model soldier in the 1960s) was. I spoke Mandarin with a strong accent," says Shen, whose Mandarin now sounds better than many locals.

In college, he won awards twice in the Mandarin-speaking contest among Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan students in Fujian.

Born in Taiwan, Shen moved to the Chinese mainland at the age of 16 with parents who run a logistics company in Shanghai.

"The mainland was clean, pretty and modern, totally different from my image of a remote and backward place," he recalls of his first impressions.

Majoring in urban planning, he will graduate next year. "I plan to find a job on the Chinese mainland. There are always more opportunities for Taiwanese here," he says. He cites Chinese mainland's opening of more professions to Taiwanese, including social workers, and civil and structural engineers.

For years Shen avoided talking about Taiwan with his Chinese mainland friends. "My parents wouldn't want me to stand out as a 'Taiwanese.' They want me to be just an ordinary teenager," he says.

But after entering college, Shen began to discuss politics on the island with classmates and friends.

"I find they are open-minded. We debate sensitive issues, understand each other and sometimes reach agreements," he says. "The cross-strait situation is easing. Taiwan is a more common topic than before."

Stirring a cup of coffee, he says: "See, we Taiwanese students on the Chinese mainland are like this spoon, mixing the bitter with the sweet."
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Old June 29th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #367
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FORMER CAA HEAD BUSY PLANNING TAIWAN'S FIRST FLIGHT SCHOOL

TAIPEI, June 29 Asia Pulse - Since his retirement one year ago, former Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) head Billy K.C. Chang has been busy with plans for the establishment of Taiwan's first flight school, in a bid to help upgrade the standard of the country's aviation services.

Chang, one of the few CAA directors-general in Taiwan who could fly an aircraft, recently established the non-profit Aviation Education Foundation in a first step toward setting up a flight school.

His aim is to open the flight school in eastern Taiwan and have the foundation lease a training base at Taitung Airport in Taitung City's Fengnien Borough, he said.

Initially the foundation will collaborate with a U.S. aviation school, he said. Instructors from the United States will be hired to work in Taitung to help train local people as flight trainers, he added.

Chang, who is working as a volunteer at the foundation, said because there is no flight school in Taiwan, local airline companies have had to send their student pilots abroad for training.

He said the idea of setting up an aviation school in Taiwan was discussed before, but it never moved beyond the discussion stage because the Ministry of National Defense wanted to maintain tight control on Taiwan airspace.

"But the Ministry of National Defense is now more relaxed on the air space control issue, which makes it possible to establish a civilian flight training program," Chang said.

In addition, he said, the steadily improving cross-Taiwan Strait relations and closer air links between Taiwan and mainland China portend growing demand for civilian aircraft and pilots.

"This is spurring us to speed up the plans for the establishment of the flight training school," he added.

However, he noted, the success of the project hinges on the support of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

The flight school will also provide training for air traffic controllers, he said. Taiwan is one of the very few countries in the world where air traffic controllers are not required to receive flight training before assuming their duties in the tower, he noted.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #368
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Businessmen want to register their private jets in Taiwan: CAA

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) Some entrepreneurs have inquired about registering their private planes in Taiwan for the convenience of traveling across the Taiwan Strait, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Friday.

Taiwan allowed individuals to register their own planes in 2007, but nobody had applied because of limited berths in popular airports and the difficulty of commissioning maintenance and other integrated services.

But with only planes registered in Taiwan or China allowed to travel directly between the two countries, two business tycoons have inquired about moving their jets' registrations from other countries to Taiwan to facilitate their business travel, the CAA said at a seminar to promote private planes sponsored by the Aviation Education Foundation.

Since the opening of direct flights between Taiwan and China last year, only the private jet of Want Want Group Chairman Tsai Eng-meng, registered in China, has flown such flights.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #369
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Experts propose using private jets for 'air taxi'
Aviation officials expressed doubt over its feasibility given regulations limiting sales and customer solicitation to airline firms

26 June 2009
Taipei Times

Several aviation experts yesterday proposed using private jets to operate an "air taxi" - a customized flight service targeting business travelers - but aviation officials said this might not be feasible given current regulations.

Lin Chin-e, a professor at National Cheng Kung University, promoted the concept of an air taxi service at a seminar hosted by the Aviation Education Foundation to discuss regulations governing personal aircraft.

Lin said it was expensive to own a private jet as it would cost about NT$1.5 million (US$45,600) to maintain. But with an air taxi, businesspeople could enjoy the convenience of a private jet service without having to pay for maintenance and other miscellaneous costs.

"Business groups could invest in an air taxi by purchasing the aircraft, while leaving the maintenance and management to an air taxi operator," he said. "Different air taxi operators could jointly solicit customers by organizing an online ticketing system."

An air taxi service also gives businesspeople the advantage of being able to choose the time of their departure and arriving at an airport near their destination, Lin said.

The cost for using these charter flights would help big companies save money in the long run, he said.

To avoid compromising comfort, Lin said the service was better suited to flights under three hours.

However, Billy Chang, chairman of the Aviation Education Foundation and a former director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), said the proposal could run counter to existing aviation regulations.

Chang said the local aviation sector is divided into three categories: airlines, general aviation and private aviation.

Airlines like EVA Air or China Airlines operate passenger or cargo flights on a regular schedule for the general public, he said.

Daily Air or private jet owners offer flight services to a niche market or special class of customers. Daily Air owns licenses to provide helicopter and commercial charter jet services.

"At present, only airlines can solicit customers and sell tickets," Chang said. "In that case, they are legally qualified to offer an air taxi service. Others can't."

Lee Dong-yang, a CAA official, said that the cross-strait aviation pact only allows airlines from Taiwan and China to offer cross-strait services.

"Both sides have not allowed aircraft with a capacity of below 19 passengers to target businesspeople. These aircraft can only be used for humanitarian or medical charter flight services," he said.

A number of Taiwanese entrepreneurs are reported to own private jets, including Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou, Ruentex Financial Group chairman Samuel Yin and Evergreen Group chairman Chang Jung-fa.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 06:06 PM   #370
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Chinese airlines to open branches, sell tickets directly
2 July 2009
The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The six Chinese air carriers that have already opened representative offices in Taiwan are expected to be among the earliest Chinese enterprises to set up branches here so that they can sell tickets to passengers directly.

Executives of the Chinese airlines welcomed the announcement by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on Tuesday to start accepting applications for investment projects by Chinese businesses, including opening their branch offices or subsidiaries in Taiwan.

A senior executive of Shanghai Airlines said his company is ready to file an application to upgrade the existing representative offices in Taipei to a branch.

He estimated it will take about two weeks to complete the procedures so that the company can directly sell customers the tickets, which are presently handled entirely through travel agencies.

This will be more convenient for both passengers and the airline, he said.

Executives at other five Chinese airlines said they have identical plans to upgrade to branches in order to improve service to customers.

The air carriers based in China are required to get endorsements from the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications before making applications with the MOEA to open branches here.

Following the latest negotiations between Taiwan and China, the two sides have agreed to significantly expand the number of flights across the Taiwan Strait to meet growing demand.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 06:34 PM   #371
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Carriers to step up service as demand on Taiwan-Kinmen route rises

Taipei, June 30 (CNA) Three air carriers are planning to increase their number of flights or use larger planes between Taiwan proper and the outlying Kinmen Island in anticipation of higher demand this summer.

UNI Air, TransAsia Airways and Mandarin Airlines -- the three aviation companies that operate flights to Kinmen -- all are planning to expand their service on the route, in response to greater interest among people from Taiwan proper to travel to China from Kinmen via the mini three links.

UNI Air intends to use larger planes for its Tainan-Kinmen flights from July, while the other airlines will flexibly increase the number of their summer flights to the island, depending on demand.

Despite the fact that the majority of tour agencies in Taiwan have been hit hard by the global financial crisis, cross-Taiwan Strait travel via the mini links -- direct ferry service between the Taiwan-held Kinmen and Matsu islands and several ports in China's Fujian Province -- has been brisk.

In response to Taiwan's keen efforts to lure Chinese tourists, China's Jiangsu, Shandong and Fujian provinces have been promoting tours to Taiwan in the hope that at least 10,000 tourists from each of the three provinces would visit Taiwan. Many of the Chinese tourists from these coastal provinces prefer to travel to Taiwan via the mini links because of lower costs.

Meanwhile, to date, more than 10,000 people in Taiwan have booked special China tours -- launched on April 1 by UNI Air in conjunction with 24 tour agencies -- that feature the use of the "mini links" to travel to Fujian.

Earlier on Tuesday, Huang Wei-lin, a senior high school teacher from Taichung, was awarded NT$10,000 (US$300) in cash and a free trip worth NT$16,800 to Fujian, after she was pronounced as UNI Air's 10,000th passenger on the route. Huang was at Taipei's Songshan Airport checking in for a flight to Kinmen.

Hsieh Ming-hung, general manager of the Taipei-based Life Tour, predicted that more than 30,000 Taiwanese tourists will buy tours to "travel to Fujian via the mini links" this year.

In the period January-May this year, flights to Kinmen that originated from points on Taiwan proper, such as Taipei, Taichung, Chiayi and Tainan, had an average passenger load factor of about 70 percent, according to statistics compiled by the Civil Aeronautics Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 04:27 AM   #372
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Cross-strait charter flights serve 1.6 million people in last year

Taipei, July 2 (CNA) Nearly 1.6 million passengers have been served over the past year since direct cross-Taiwan Strait charter flights were launched July 4, 2008, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) reported Thursday.

Air carriers on both sides of the strait operated a total of 4,008 flights, carrying 1,597,000 passengers as of June 30 this year, according to CAA statistics.

These carriers have also operated 177 cargo flights across the strait, transporting 20,632 tons of cargo since Dec. 15, 2008, when direct cross-strait cargo flights were opened, the statistics show.

A total of 859 direct cross-strait weekend charter flights were operated between July 4 and Dec. 14 last year, serving 336,000 passengers and representing an average passenger load factor of 85.3 percent, according to the statistics.

From last Dec. 15 to June 30 this year, a total of 3,149 direct cross-strait daily charter flights were operated, transporting 1.26 million passengers and representing a passenger load factor of 81.5 percent for Taiwanese airline companies and a passenger load factor of 75.3 percent for Chinese carriers, according to the CAA.

CAA officials said that at present, the number of daily direct cross-strait charter flights stands at 108 per week, up from 36 per week last July, when only weekend flights were allowed.

The officials also said regularly scheduled cross-strait flights are expected to be formally launched next month, with 270 flights available each week, thanks to the steadily warming cross-strait relations.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #373
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CHINESE AIRLINE SUBMITS DOCUMENTS TO OPEN TAIWAN BRANCH

TAIPEI, July 6 Asia Pulse - Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines (SSE:600029) is likely to become China's first carrier to open a branch in Taiwan after it submitted Friday three copies of a document necessary for approval of the branch opening by the Taiwanese authorities.

Zeng Qingning, spokeswoman for the airline's Taiwan office, said the company had sent the document to Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the MOEA's Investment Commission and the Civil Aeronautics Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to seek approval for the branch.

Zeng said it was unclear when the branch can be opened, but added that relevant arrangements were already being prepared. "We can begin selling tickets once the office gains approval for upgrading to a branch," she said.

China Southern Airlines employed 25 people in Taiwan, seven of whom were Taiwanese.

The carrier operates four weekly flights between Shanghai and Taipei, four weekly flights between Guangzhou and Taoyuan and four weekly flights between Shenzhen and Taoyuan.

Fan Liang-tung, executive secretary of the MOEA's Investment Commission, said the commission would step up the speed at which it processes investment plan submissions put forward by Chinese investors, as many Chinese delegations had visited Taiwan in recent months in search of investment and business opportunities.

During the January-May period this year, the number of Chinese people visiting Taiwan on business averaged more than 7,000 each month, double the previous year's level, according to commission statistics.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 06:59 AM   #374
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Chinese airline hires five Taiwanese pilots
7 July 2009
The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Five Taiwanese pilots joined China's Shenzhen Airlines to commence training yesterday for official piloting duties beginning before the end of this year, local media reported.

Shenzhen Airlines hired five highly skilled and experienced Taiwanese pilots after one month of interviews, according to China News Service.

Shenzhen Airlines' Aviation Manager Pei Shuangzhou said that the five pilots would go through emergency procedures training for three weeks, before another four to five months of flight training to get used to the particular Airbus models that the airline uses, continued the report.

The airline plans to hire 20 more Taiwanese pilots, added the report.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #375
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FACTBOX-Highlights of China-Taiwan trade developments to date

TAIPEI, July 1 (Reuters) - Recession-hit Taiwan has begun to depend so heavily on its political rival China, a world economic powerhouse, that the island leadership is seen as beholden to Beijing.

Following are highlights of the agreements and major developments in warming ties between the two sides:

* CHINESE DIRECT INVESTMENT

Taiwan has opened up 100 sectors, such as auto parts, textiles and some low-end electronics industries, to Chinese investment. Sensitive foundry and LCD sectors remain off limits.

In April, the two sides announced a framework paving the way for banks, insurers and other financial service providers to invest and do business in each others' markets.

* BROAD TRADE PACT IN WORKS

Taiwan officials aim by the end of the year to discuss a free trade-like deal with China called the "Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement". The deal would broadly cut tariffs and lay the groundwork for more specific trade pacts between the two sides.

Taiwan's opposition sees the plan as a political sell-out to China and wants a referendum on the issue.

* TRADE, TRANSIT DEALS

Late last year, Taiwan and China signed a landmark deal on daily direct flights, new cargo routes and food safety aimed at increasing trade and tourism between both sides.

* SCHEDULED DIRECT FLIGHTS

Negotiators agreed in April to allow the first regular direct flights between the two sides.

The regular flights, which could happen by end-July at the earliest, will replace the current limited charters, easing passage for Taiwanese who do business in China and Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #376
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China Eastern to benefit most from pending regular cross-Straits flights

Beijing, July 8 (Xinhua) – China Eastern Airlines (CEA.NYSE; 00670.HK; 600115.SH), a Chinese airline giant based in Shanghai, is expected to benefit most from the pending regular cross-Straits flights.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Tuesday publicized flights schedule between China's mainland and Taiwan for nine passenger air carriers and two freight air carriers, pending the launch of regular cross-Straits flights.

The air carriers could operate cross-Straits fights or charters between Taiwan and 27 cities in the mainland following an agreement signed on April 26 this year, said the CAAC in a statement on its website.

According to the flights schedule, airline companies in the Chinese mainland will operate 135 passenger cross-Straits flights each week, of which, China Eastern runs 29 flights and the other two Chinese airline giants Air China (00753.HK; 601111.SH) and China Southern Airlines (ZNH.NYSE; 01055.HK; 600029.SH) will run 27 flights, respectively.

The above-mentioned three airline giants will take over 60 percent of the flights on the across-Straits routes.

Analysts pointed out that China Eastern will benefit most from the pending regular cross-Straits flights as over 35 percent of people from Taiwan in the Chinese mainland now live in Shanghai and the nearby province Jiangsu.

Besides, China Southern, headquartered in southern Guangdong province, will obtain more benefit in comparison with Air China, as about 25 percent people from Taiwan in the Chinese mainland live in the Peal River Delta region and 10 percent live in the southern Fujian province. Enditem
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #377
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Two more airlines get nod to fly to Taipei
9 July 2009
South China Morning Post

Air China and China Southern Airlines have received approval to ply the lucrative Shanghai-Taipei route, raising the competitive stakes in the direct-links market.

China Eastern Airlines Corp and Shanghai Airlines already fly the popular route, which ferries Taiwan business people between the island and their factories on the mainland.

"It will not be a good thing for China Eastern and Shanghai Air, as more players means more competition," Kelvin Lau, a transport analyst at the Daiwa Institute of Research, said yesterday.

The number of direct flights between the two cities will increase to 28 a week, of which 10 will be operated by China Eastern, seven by Shanghai Airlines, six by Air China and five by China Southern, according to the website of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The announcement did not say when the services would start.

The number of direct flights allowed to be operated between the island and the mainland will rise to 270 a week from 108, owing to the huge demand for cross-strait air services. The number of mainland cities served by direct links will rise to 27.

Mainland carriers will operate 136 weekly flights, of which more than 60 per cent will be operated by the big three - Air China, China Eastern and China Southern.

The remainder will be flown by Sichuan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Shanghai Airlines, with each operating seven to 11 flights a week.

Industry veterans said some of the destinations open for direct links might not be profitable because of insufficient demand and capacity.

For example, China Southern is allowed to operate only one flight a week to some secondary cities, such as Dalian and Guiyang. It would be difficult to operate profitably on such routes when capacity was thin, and carriers might think twice before starting a new service.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #378
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CAAC publicizes cross-Straits flights schedule pending regular flights

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Tuesday publicized flights schedule between China's mainland and Taiwan for nine passenger air carriers and two freight air carriers, pending the launch of regular cross-Straits flights.

The air carriers could operate cross-Straits fights or charters between Taiwan and 27 cities in the mainland following an agreement signed on April 26 this year, said the CAAC in a statement on its website.

Following a landmark agreement signed by the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) president, Chen Yunlin, and Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman, Chiang Pin-kung in Taipei on Nov. 4 in 2008, the two sides launched 54 new passenger charter flights each week.

Previously, flights across the Taiwan Straits were only offered on weekends and during the country's four major traditional festivals and had to transfer through a third place, usually Hong Kong or Macao.

The supplementary agreement signed in Nanjing, eastern China's Jiangsu Province, on April 26 this year agreed to expand air links further.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #379
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Start date still not clear for regular cross-strait flights
10 July 2009
Taipei Times

Taiwan and China have yet to agree on the date to launch regular cross-strait flights because Beijing insists on handling the issues under a special regulatory framework, Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Lee Lung-wen said yesterday.

Earlier this year, China set Aug. 31 as the date for regular flights. Taiwan wanted an earlier date.

"Things are easier on our side. We just treat them [cross-strait flights] as international flights," Lee said. "To them [China], cross-straight flights are neither domestic nor international flights and they want to design a special law to regulate them."

While both sides have yet to agree on a date, EVA Air and Uni Air said yesterday they had started taking reservations for the flights.

Nei Kuo-wei, a spokesman for the Evergreen Group that the two airlines belong to, said EVA Air and UNI Airways would initially operate regular flights to 11 Chinese cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Kunming, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian, Ningpo and Chengdu.

Starting Sept. 28, the airlines will also fly to Qingdao, Wuhan and Chongqing, he said.

Lee said the airlines were taking reservations, but that the CAA had voiced concerns.

Meanwhile, Lee said airlines must lower the price of cross-strait tickets.

"They may not be able to do much with some of the popular flights, like those to Shanghai, but they can nevertheless offer some minor discounts on [them]," Lee said.

"The airlines have to try to lower the price for each and every flight route," he said.

CAA figures showed that since cross-strait flights were launched last July, passenger loads on cross-strait charters had risen from an average of 65 percent to an average of 78.8 percent as of last month.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #380
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Fujian And Taiwan Sign Agreements To Boost Tourism
7 July 2009
China Hospitality News

At a ceremony celebrating 10,000 Taiwanese tourists visiting Fujian via Uni Air, Fujian and Taiwan have signed two cooperative agreements to boost tourism.

Under the agreement signed by Fujian Tourism Association and 24 agencies from Taiwan, between July 2009 and June 30, 2010, Taiwan Uni Air will organize 100,000 Taiwanese to visit Fujian and other mainland provinces.

Under another agreement concerning the development of Western Straits tourism, Lion Travel Service from Taiwan will invite 100 foreign travel salesmen to review Fujian's tourism resources, 1,000 young students to visit the west of the Taiwan Strait, and another 10,000 tourists from all over the world to visit Fujian by a multi-stop route from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

The two agreements will further expand the inbound tourism of Fujian province, said Guo Hengming, the director of Fujian Tourism Association and Fujian Tourism Administration. Fujian is expected to be China's fourth key tourism area after the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and Bohai Bay Rim.
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