Home>News Center>China

Holiday flights virtually sold out in Taiwan
Updated: 2006-01-19 19:58

Charter flights between Taiwan and the mainland for the coming Chinese New Year holiday are virtually sold out in a significant increase in bookings over last year, the major Taiwanese airlines said Thursday.

Beginning Friday, six Taiwanese airlines and six Chinese mainland airlines will provide a total of 72 round-trip charter flights until February 13, under an agreement worked out by civil aviation associations of the two sides.

This is the third year that the Chinese New Year charter flights have been in operation. In 2003 and 2005 they were limited to Taiwanese business people residing on the mainland, but this year Taiwanese students and tourists have also been allowed to book space.

The major Taiwanese airlines said the decision has been a boon to business.

"Business is much better than last year, because there are no restrictions anymore on the kinds of passengers," said Bruce Chen, a spokesman for China Airlines, the island's largest carrier. "All flights are full in economy, and there are only some seats left in first class."

Taiwan's second carrier, EVA Airways, also said the flights looked like a success.

"Flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to Taiwan are completely booked, and those in the other direction are up to 90 percent full," said spokesman K.W. Nieh.

Chinese people traditionally spend the New Year holiday with relatives, and with several hundred thousand Taiwanese on the mainland, the charter flights have a built in market.

Direct air links between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan ended when the two sides split amid civil war in 1949. Travelers on commercial flights are required to transfer at third point _ usually Hong Kong.

Taiwan has been reluctant to allow the direct flights because of security concerns.

Fire kills 5 in Northeast China
Aerobatics show in Hunan
Final rehearsal
  Today's Top News     Top China News

Australia, US, Japan praise China for Asia engagement



Banker: China doing its best on flexible yuan



Hopes high for oil pipeline deal



Possibilities of bird flu outbreaks reduced



Milosevic buried after emotional farewell



China considers trade contracts in India


  EU likely to impose tax on imports of Chinese shoes
  Bankers confident about future growth
  Curtain to be raised on Year of Russia
  Coal output set to reach record high of 2.5b tons
  WTO: China should reconsider currency plan
  China: Military buildup 'transparent'
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.