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Old January 10th, 2005, 02:41 PM   #101
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Jan 10, 2005
Taipei team in Beijing for talks on air links

TAIPEI - A GROUP of Taiwan opposition Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers flew to Beijing yesterday to discuss direct air links for next month's Chinese New Year holidays after China said it was willing to talk.

The visit came amid growing signs of 'positive developments' that there is a chance to reach an accord this time.

KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung said the group will meet Chinese civil aviation and Taiwan affairs officials today to discuss direct charter flights during the holiday, which begins on Feb 9.

Group member John Chang said the Taiwan government has not officially authorised the opposition's visit, but would be pressured to recognise the results if an agreement is reached.

On Saturday, Mr Chiu Tai-san, deputy chairman of Taiwan's Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), expressed optimism that the flights were possible but avoided direct comment on the opposition talks.

He said the MAC had not received any information from Mr Lo Ta-hsing, chairman of the Taipei Airlines Association, who was commissioned by the MAC to hold technical talks with mainland officials in Macau on Friday.

MAC chairman Joseph Wu also declined to confirm media reports about the two sides having reached agreement at the Macau meeting on a model for 'non-stop, round-trip, multi-destination flights by carriers on both sides'. But he expressed optimism to the China Post that direct flights were possible.

He mentioned Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou - all cities with large populations of Taiwanese.

Direct air and sea links between Taiwan and the mainland have been cut off since their split in 1949.

Six Taiwanese carriers were allowed to fly between Taiwan and Shanghai in 2003, with stops in Hong Kong or Macau, to take Taiwanese working on the mainland home for the CNY holidays.

But the charter flights were called off last year as Taipei barred mainland air carriers from flying to the island. \-- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #102
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Posted: 10 January 2005 1806 hrs

China okays direct charter flights with Taiwan
By Young Ming, Channel NewsAsia's Taiwan Bureau Chief


TAIPEI: China has agreed to the first direct charter flights to and from Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holidays in February.

If all goes well, it will be the first such links between the two sides since 1949.

With China's go-ahead to allow direct charter flights, the ball is now in Taiwan's court.

Approval is needed from President Chen Shui-bian before the flights can commence on February 9.

The proposed charter flights are between two cities in Taiwan - Taipei and Kaohsiung - and the mainland Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen.

Unlike the first flights arranged two years ago, this time they do not need to make an extra stopover at Macau or Hong Kong.

If so, the flights will be the first direct ones between arch rivals, Taiwan and mainland China in more than 50 years.

Moreover Chinese airlines will be allowed to take part in this operation.

In other words, for the first time in more than half a century, a mainland Chinese aircraft will land in Taiwan.

The planes are expected to fly at full capacity because despite their diplomatic freeze, cross-strait business ties have blossomed in recent years.

With over one million Taiwanese businessmen and their families in China, many will want to return to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year.

The meeting for the proposed charter flights was brokered by Taiwan's opposition legislators as China has refused to talk directly with the island's government which it considers a breakaway province.

John Chang Hsiao Yen, Taiwan legislator from Kuomintang party, said: "China still thinks the cross-strait relationship is severe. So it's impossible for the governments of both sides to sit down and talk. That's why we are an important go-between for things to work. "

But it's believed Beijing will eventually need to talk with the government about technical issues.

The agreement has raised hopes that the cross-strait stalemate between China and Taiwan is loosening up.

The charter flights have been described as "the first sparrow in spring", as the Chinese believe that when you see a sparrow, spring time is around the corner. - CNA
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Old January 10th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #103
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China agrees to direct charter flights with Taiwan

BEIJING, Jan 10 (Reuters) - China agreed on Monday to direct two-way charter flights with arch-rival Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday in February, a move that would mark the first such links in more than 50 years, Taiwan opposition legislators said.

The move puts the ball in the court of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and his ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), whose approval will be necessary for flights to take place for the start of the Chinese new year festival on Feb. 9.

The charters would be the first direct commercial flights across the Taiwan Strait -- except for hijackings -- since 1949 when Nationalist troops fled to the island after losing the Chinese civil war on the mainland to the Communists.

Beijing was willing for the flights to proceed without transit stops in Hong Kong or Macau and for Chinese airlines to be involved, the legislators said after a meeting in Beijing with Chen Yunlin, minister of China's Taiwan Affairs Office.

"If the Taiwan authorities really care about the interests of Taiwan compatriots, live up to their promise, are flexible and pragmatic, these Lunar New Year charter flights absolutely can be realised," minister Chen told the delegation, according to a statement from the Taiwan Affairs Office.

During Chinese new year in 2003, charter flights between Shanghai and Taipei were commissioned to Taiwan airlines. However, Taipei would not allow planes to fly directly between Taiwan and China, requiring them to make token stops in Hong Kong or Macau, lengthening a one-hour flight to about four hours.

"We ask the DPP government to live up to promises it made in the past regarding Lunar New Year charter flights," said John Chang, a legislator with Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party and the sole surviving grandson of late Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek.

"We hope tension between the two sides of the Strait can ease somewhat, but today minister Chen made a very important point. He thinks the cross-Strait situation is serious," said Chang, who is leading the Nationalist delegation.

"If you want government envoys from the two sides to hold talks, that is not feasible."

FLIGHTS CAN BE REALISED

China refuses to talk directly with the government of Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province being led down a path towards formal independence by President Chen.

However, business and tourism ties have blossomed despite the diplomatic freeze and about 1 million Taiwan businessmen and their families live and work in China.

Last year, China did not allow a repeat of the 2003 charter flights, fearing the move could help Chen to win re-election. Chen won the 2004 presidential election anyway.

On Monday, China agreed to expand the flights to five mainland cities -- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen and Shenzhen. Taipei decides which Taiwan cities are involved.

It also said stopovers in Hong Kong or Macau were no longer necessary and wanted the planes to take on passengers in Taiwan and the mainland. In 2003, Taiwan airlines had to fly empty to Shanghai to pick up passengers.

AIRLINE IMPACT

Airline executives said Taiwan airlines allowed to participate would be China Airlines Ltd. , EVA Airways Corp. , Trans Asia Airways , Far East Air Transport Corp. , Mandarin Airlines and UNI Airways Corp.

From the mainland, airline executives have listed Air China Ltd. , China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. , Xiamen Airlines and China Eastern Air as possibly taking part.

The significance of the flights would largely be symbolic, said Peter Hilton, an analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston in Hong Kong.

"In a profitability sense, Chinese New Year would be modest," he said. "Cross-straits flights is an issue that is going to come. But the political situation is not ripe."

The Taiwan legislators will be holding talks with aviation officials on Monday afternoon to sort out details. Chang said he and his delegation would brief Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which formulates policy toward China, on the results of the talks after they returned to Taiwan later on Monday.

The talks would be a test of the Taiwan leader's sincerity to ease tension across the Taiwan Strait, Beijing's China Daily newspaper said on Monday.

The Nationalists oppose independence for the island. Beijing has threatened war if Taiwan formally declares statehood.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 04:23 AM   #104
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Taiwan's Mac Hopes Beijing Will Start Charter Flights Based on Model

TAIPEI, Jan 11 Asia Pulse - The Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Monday that it hopes mainland China will honor its words and use talks between Taiwan and Hong Kong on air transport in 2002 as a model for launching cross-Taiwan Strait charter flights during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The MAC made the remarks in a press release after a Taiwan delegation led by opposition Kuomintang (KMT) officials met with Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing Monday to discuss flight services to facilitate the return of Taiwan people on the mainland during the holiday.

According to the KMT delegation after the meeting, Chen accepted the principles of "joint participation in the two-way, multiple-destination flights with no stopovers in third countries or regions."

Chen reportedly agreed that Taiwanese with travel documents to the mainland, and not confined to Taiwan businessmen operating on the mainland only, will be able to board the charter flights.

He also said Taipei Airlines Association representatives and air carriers can travel to the mainland as soon as possible to discuss related technical details with the mainland side.

The MAC said in the press release that it is gratified that Beijing responded positively to Taiwan's suggestion for the charter flights, and that the MAC also noted that a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Council said Oct. 27 that air transport negotiations between Taiwan and Hong Kong in 2002 can serve as a model for talks.

The air transport talks were completed successfully because they were conducted by the private sector, with government officials acting as advisers.

The MAC expressed hope that the mainland will honor its words and seize the opportunity to embark on consultations in a way acceptable to both sides.

The MAC said in the press release that the policy of promoting the charter flights during the Chinese New Year period has been the long-standing policy of the government and that the government has long expressed that both sides could make appropriate arrangements concerning the "joint participation of two-way, non-stop flights" principles demanded by Beijing.

The government stated last November that Taiwan is willing to base negotiations on Taiwan-Hong Kong air transport negotiations that took place in 2002, the MAC said.

The MAC also commissioned the Taipei Airlines Association to go to Macau earlier this month to help discuss the matter after Beijing responded positively to Taiwan's appeal.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it has already completed the planning on technical details for the charter flight services.

(CNA)
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Old January 13th, 2005, 04:39 AM   #105
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Airline Industry Information
January 12, 2005
Taiwan concerned over implications of direct flights

China's proposal for one-off, direct flights between China and Taiwan during the Lunar New Year has raised some concerns in Taiwan.

The proposal is seen as a move to ease tension between the two sides. The direct flights between Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen in China and Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung in Taiwan would end a ban on direct flights that has been in place for decades. Since the split between mainland China and Taiwan in 1949 the island has banned direct flights, forcing services between China and Taiwan to go mainly via Hong Kong or Macau.

The proposal from China would have to be approved by the administration of Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian. The Taiwanese Mainland Affairs Council welcomed negotiations in a manner acceptable to both sides but did not refer directly to the proposal.

According to The Associated Press, there are worries in Taiwan that direct flights may jeopardise the island's security, though many businesses and tourists in Taiwan would like to end the ban. The Taiwanese government remains concerned that allowing direct flights could mean that China would use airline flights for military purposes.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 07:40 AM   #106
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Taichung Hopes to be Included in Lunar New Year Charter Flights

TAIPEI, Jan 14 Asia Pulse - Taichung Mayor Jason Hu and Taichung Magistrate Huang Chung-sheng jointly urged the central government Thursday to include Chingchuankang (CCK) Airport in the Lunar New Year charter flight services between Taiwan and mainland China.

They issued the call after reports that the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) might reject a proposal to include the central Taiwan airport in the special program designed to transport mainland-based Taiwan businessmen wishing to spend the Chinese New Year holiday early next month at home.

Claiming that national security issues cited by the MAC as a reason for excluding CCK Airport from the program can be overcome "technically, " Hu called on the central government to rethink its decision.

Taichung is located close to Xiamen in Fujian Province, where there is a large number of Taiwan businessmen from Taichung, Hu claimed, adding that the interests of citizens from central Taiwan must be heeded.

Passenger and cargo air transport services between the two sides, Huang said, are very important for both sides amid frequent and close trade and economic relations across the Taiwan Strait.

Air travel between Taichung and Xiamen would be time and cost effective for the many businessmen in Xiamen who come from central Taiwan regions, Huang said.

Should the central government include CCK Airport in the charter flight services, it would help boost the airport's aim of becoming an international airport, Huang said.

Both Hu and Huang claimed that the national security concerns highlighted by the MAC can be resolved by imposing a quota mechanism, setting a limit on the number of mainland carriers coming to Taichung.

Taiwan and the mainland have in principle agreed that carriers from both sides will take part in the charter flight services under the principle of "non-stop, round-trip, multi-destinations, " but concrete details have yet to be worked out.

Chinese New Year charter flights for Taiwan businessmen took off for the first time in 2003, involving Taiwan carriers only. The special service failed to take place in 2004 due to the mainland's demand that mainland carriers be allowed to take part and its refusal to discuss the issue with the Taiwan authorities.

Direct transport, trade and postal links between Taiwan and mainland China have been absent due to long-standing political feuding since 1949, when the two sides split after a civil war.

(CNA)
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Old January 15th, 2005, 06:28 PM   #107
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Jan 15, 2005
Taiwan, China agree on direct flights

MACAU - Taiwan and China have reached agreement on temporarily lifting the island's five-decade ban on direct flights between the two rivals during next month's Lunar New Year holiday.

Chinese negotiator Pu Zhaozhou said the charter flights will take place from Jan 29 to Feb 29.

He said the agreement allows a total 48 round-trip charter flights to carry Taiwanese working in China home and back during the Chinese New Year holiday next month.

The flights from the Chinese mainland will originate from the cities of Bejing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

China bound flights from Taiwan will depart from Taipei and Kaohsiung.

The Charter flights would carry hundreds of Taiwanese who work or study in China back home for the weeklong New Year holiday, which begins Feb 8.

The deal came less than 2 hours after the 2 sides met in the chinese territory of Macau.

It marks the biggest breakthrough between Taiwan and China in years.

And could produce a thaw in tensions in one of Asia's most dangerous flashpoints.

Taiwanese and Chinese airlines haven't flown direct flights since a civil war split the two sides in 1949. -- AP

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 15th, 2005, 07:30 PM   #108
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Taiwan, China clinch deal on landmark direct flights

MACAU, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Taiwan and China reached a landmark deal on Saturday to allow non-stop charter flights over the Chinese New Year holidays, a move which could ease tensions and improve ties between the bitter political rivals.

The one-off deal will allow the first direct flights between the foes since 1949, and could mark a step towards ending a decades-old ban on direct air links.

"In a very short time, in a cordial atmosphere, we have come to an agreement," Pu Zhaozhou, executive director of China's Civil Aviation Association, told a joint news conference after talks in the southern Chinese territory of Macau.

However, while the flights will be non-stop, they will still have to go through Hong Kong or Macau airspace.

"The flights have to go through Hong Kong but they don't have to land," said Mike Lo, chairman of the Taipei Airlines Association.

Lo said the flights would be for Taiwan businessmen and their families in China.

Forty-eight flights will be allowed under the agreement, beginning on Jan. 29 and ending on Feb. 20, Pu said. He did not specify whether the first would take off from China or Taiwan.

Taiwan has banned direct air and shipping links with the mainland since the Nationalists lost the Chinese civil war to the communists in 1949 and fled to the island.

Travellers between Taiwan and the mainland must now fly via a third destination, usually Hong Kong or Macau on China's southern coast, adding four hours to what should be an hour-long flight.

China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has threatened to invade the self-governing, democratic island of 23 million people if it formally declares statehood.

COOLING TENSIONS?

Despite often highly charged political tensions, trade and investment across the narrow Taiwan Strait has boomed since the late 1980s, with about one million Taiwanese now living and working in China.

Taiwan businesspeople, who have poured up to $100 billion into China, have long clamoured for direct flights. Millions of Chinese rush home for family reunions at the start of the Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 9 this year.

"This is a specific arrangement for New Year charter flights, but it is also a symbol of showing good will from both sides," said Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, a prominent private thinktank in Taipei.

"It is a win-win situation for both sides as China very much wants to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese and appear to the general public that it is doing whatever it can to resolve differences or disputes peacefully," Yang said.

Taiwan, under pressure from the United States to seek reconciliation with China, has been eager for a resumption of quasi-official dialogue, which has been frozen since 1999.

During the 2003 Lunar New Year holidays, charter flights between Shanghai and Taipei were commissioned to Taiwan airlines only and they had to fly empty to Shanghai to pick up passengers.

At the time, Taipei did not allow planes to fly directly between Taiwan and China, requiring them to make stops at an intermediate destination.

But some said the move, while positive, was just symbolic and would not necessarily lead to a more comprehensive improvement in ties.

"It can help to reduce tension to create a friendly atmosphere, but it is too premature to conclude that the resumption of talks can be realised," said George Tsai, an international relations fellow at National Chengchi University.

"I don't think Taiwan will go any further at this moment unless we can get some political benefit out of it."

China refused to allow similar flights last year, fearing it could help win re-election for Taiwan's pro-independence president, Chen Shui-bian.

The new agreement will allow flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou on the mainland and Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, with each side allowed to select six airlines for the routes.

From the mainland, airline executives have listed Air China Ltd. , China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. , Xiamen Airlines and China Eastern Air as possible candidates.

Taiwan airlines could include China Airlines Ltd. , EVA Airways Corp. , Trans Asia Airways , Far East Air Transport Corp. , Mandarin Airlines and UNI Airways Corp. (Additional reporting by Richard Dobson in Taipei)
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Old January 17th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #109
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Taiwan-China Air Deal Raises Hopes; Fincl Impact Unclear
By Perris Lee Choon Siong
17 January 2005

TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--A landmark agreement allowing Chinese and Taiwanese airlines to fly directly between the island and the mainland could pay long-term dividends, but an immediate financial benefit to the participating airlines is less certain.

Taiwan and China Saturday closed a deal to allow the first scheduled, nonstop flights between the two rivals in over half a century. The arrangement is intended to bring Taiwanese working in China home and back between Jan. 29 and Feb. 20, during the Lunar New Year, the most celebrated festival in Taiwan.

The unprecedented service is unlikely to translate into significant profits for the participating airlines, especially because the special charter flights are being added at the last minute, when many Taiwanese have already made flight arrangements.

Still, the agreement boosted the shares of carriers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and elicited hope from airline executives about the longer-term benefits, even though most analysts are skeptical that a broader deal is just around the corner.

"If everything goes beautifully smooth, then we're one big step closer to, say, regular charter flights, or eventual direct flights," said Nieh Kuo-wei, spokesman for EVA Airways Corp. (2618.TW).

Shares of EVA, Taiwan's second largest airline, Monday rose 1.3% to NT$16 apiece - their highest closing level in nearly nine months - outperforming the mainboard index's 0.9% gain.

Shares in its bigger rival, China Airlines Ltd. (2610.TW), ended up 0.5% at NT$18.5.

Taiwanese airlines will be responsible for 24 of the 48 special round-trip flights. The other four participating are UNI Airways Corp., TransAsia Airways, Mandarin Airlines and Far Eastern Air Transport Corp. (5605.OT)

On the mainland, the Chinese government will Tuesday designate which six airlines will provide the other 24 flights. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines listed in Hong Kong closed mostly higher Monday.

China Southern Airlines Co. (ZNH) rose 1.8% to HK$2.775, China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA) ended flat at HK$1.59, and Air China Ltd. (0753.HK) rose 0.88% to HK$2.875.

Taiwan has banned direct flights with China since the two split amid civil war in 1949. Since then, a long-standing threat by China to take over the island by force, if necessary, has made the flight issue a serious security concern for Taiwan. People are forced to travel between China and Taiwan by a third location, usually Hong Kong.

Limited charter flights were allowed in 2003, but only Taiwanese airlines were allowed to participate, and they had to touch down in Hong Kong or Macau. This time, the planes need to fly through Hong Kong's airspace, but don't have to land there.

There are roughly 600,000 Taiwanese currently residing in China, mainly for work, according to Andrew C.R. Yeh, vice president of the Taiwan Businessmen Association in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

Last year, around 150,000 Taiwanese in China returned to Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday, he reckons.

But Saturday's deal came as a surprise to many Taiwanese working in China, around 80% of whom have already booked flights back to Taiwan for the holiday, according to Gary Zhang, an aviation analyst at Sun Hung Kai Research Ltd.

Indeed, seats on China Airlines' flights from Hong Kong to Taiwan during the days before the Chinese New Year holiday are already 90% booked, according to Johnson Sun, assistant vice president at China Airlines' corporate communications division.

Taiwanese airlines are thus offering lower prices on the nonstop China-Taiwan flights.

China Airlines will sell tickets at 20% below market prices, Sun said.

The carrier has decided to work together with its 90%-owned unit Mandarin Airlines, a regional carrier, to allow passengers buying round-trip tickets to take either carrier when they return to Taiwan for holiday or go back to China for work.

EVA's Nieh wouldn't say whether EVA will work with its regional sister firm UNI Airways Corp., but said tickets for the charter flights will definitely be cheaper than flights connecting through Hong Kong.

Neither China Airlines nor EVA would project if the direct charter services will generate much profits, although the EVA spokesman said the carrier believes it will sell more tickets than it did in 2003, when it broke even on the special flights.

Taiwanese airlines are still waiting for the transport ministry to finalize the flight schedule before they can start selling tickets, the executives said.

Meanwhile, if regular direct flights were ever to become a reality, some Hong Kong carriers would stand to lose.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd., known as Dragonair, regularly ferry Taiwanese businessmen to and from the mainland via Hong Kong.

"If cross strait (flights) become a fully liberalized situation, which we don't think is practical enough in near term, then the effect becomes significant," said Peter Hilton, an aviation analyst at CSFB. "Just one month worth of flights...isn't a big deal, that's the reason why it's not having a dramatic effect."

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's biggest airline, ended Monday 0.35% higher at HK$14.3. China National Aviation Co. (1110.HK), which holds a 43% stake in Dragonair, was flat at HK$1.70. The blue-chip Hang Seng Index rose 0.94% to 13621.65.

-By Perris Lee, Dow Jones Newswires; 8862-2502-2557; [email protected]

(Victoria Ruan in Beijing and Ruby Chan in Hong Kong contributed to this article) [ 17-01-05 1132GMT ]
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Old January 18th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #110
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Tuesday January 18, 6:45 PM
China approves six airlines for Taiwan charter flights

AP - China said Tuesday it has selected six domestic airlines for special charter flights to Taiwan during the coming Lunar New Year holiday.

Negotiators agreed on Saturday to allow 48 round-trip charter flights carrying Taiwanese working in China back home during the holiday that starts on Feb. 9.

Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines have received government approval for direct flights between the mainland and Taiwan, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the communists won a civil war on the mainland. Taiwan has banned direct flights since the split because of security concerns.

In addition to the Chinese carriers, six from Taiwan will make the flights between Jan. 29 and Feb. 20 between the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Taiwan's two biggest cities, Taipei and Kaohsiung.

The planes are to travel via the airspace of Hong Kong instead of flying directly across the 160-kilometer-wide (100-mile-wide) Taiwan Strait.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #111
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Taiwan, China seal deal on air links

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Old January 19th, 2005, 12:45 PM   #112
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Someone can have a thread of "flying the world: Beijing-Taipei", that will be first ever.

Glad to see this is happening.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 04:34 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snake
Someone can have a thread of "flying the world: Beijing-Taipei", that will be first ever.

Glad to see this is happening.
Hahaha...you wants to take that honour?
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Old January 19th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #114
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Wednesday January 19, 7:38 PM
CAL, Xiamen Airlines to run 1st cross-strait Lunar New Year flights

(Kyodo) _ Taiwan's China Airlines and China's Xiamen Airlines will start this year's direct charter flights during the Lunar New Year holiday that begins Feb. 9, local media reported Wednesday.

The service will kick off with a China Airlines Boeing 747 plane taking off Jan. 29 from Taipei at 4:05 a.m. and arriving in Beijing at 8 a.m. to pick up mainland-based Taiwanese businessmen and their family members returning home for the holidays, the United Evening News said.

Meanwhile, a Xiamen Airlines Boeing 757 aircraft will depart from Guangzhou at 8 a.m. the same day and touch down in Taipei at 9:45 a.m., becoming the first Chinese civilian flight to land in Taiwan, except for several hijackings, in over five decades.

Taiwan and China reached a landmark deal in Macao on Saturday to allow nonstop charter flights from Jan. 29 to Feb. 20.

The flights from the mainland will originate from the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, while the China-bound flights from Taiwan will depart from Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Under the agreement, a total of 48 flights will be operated by six Taiwanese carriers and six Chinese carriers. The five other Taiwan carriers are Eva Airways, Far Eastern Air Transport, Uni Air, TransAsia Airways and Mandarin Airlines. The five other Chinese carriers are Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Hainan Airlines.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 05:46 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Hahaha...you wants to take that honour?
I wish bulga could take that honor, I am not a Taiwan businessman and their family, wait a moment, I do have a few relatives in Taiwan, my dad's uncles and aunts.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snake
I wish bulga could take that honor, I am not a Taiwan businessman and their family, wait a moment, I do have a few relatives in Taiwan, my dad's uncles and aunts.
Well..its not that difficult actually. Just go to a certain "Hong Kong aviation forum" and snatch the photos from there!
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Old January 19th, 2005, 05:52 PM   #117
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Actually, Taiwanese aviation forums might be a better choice, since the flights target Taiwanese businessmen living in China, not Hong Kongers.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 08:57 PM   #118
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Yesterday I watched the news, it said Taiwan students in mainland are not allowed to take the taiwan airline, but they can take mainland airlines, is that true?
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Old January 20th, 2005, 06:59 AM   #119
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China Eastern signs ground services deal with Taiwan's China Airlines - report
19 January 2005

BEIJING (AFX) - China Eastern Airlines and Taiwan's China Airlines yesterday agreed to provide ground services for each other during an upcoming exchange of charter flights between the mainland and Taiwan during the lunar new year, China Daily reported.

Taiwan and Beijing decided over the weekend that six Taiwan and six mainland airlines will be permitted to offer 48 round trips between the island and the mainland during the holiday in early February.

Under the deal signed by the two carriers, China Airlines' non-stop charter flight landing at Pudong Airport on Feb 5 will be serviced by China Eastern Airlines, the report said.

The Taiwan carrier will make four flights to the mainland, with two to Beijing, one to Shanghai and another to Guangzhou.

The paper said China Airlines will in turn provide ground services for charter flights operated by China Eastern, which will land at Taoyuan Airport in Taipei.

From Jan 29, China Eastern will fly six legs, all bound for Taoyuan Airport in Taipei, using 322-seat Airbus A340-600 aircraft.

China Daily said China Eastern carried half a million Taiwan passengers from Shanghai to Hong Kong last year, where they transferred planes.

The airline expects its new non-stop charter flights to be in strong demand, the paper said. It reported that the Shanghai carrier has opened more than 40 ticket sales outlets citywide. A return ticket between Shanghai and Taipei is priced at 3,000 to 3,700 yuan and a one-way costs 1,500 to 1,800 yuan.

The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China on Tuesday decided to designate Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines to fly cross-Straits charter flights during the coming holidays, the report said.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:00 PM   #120
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