Sat, May 03, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Government considering cross-strait cargo flights

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

The government said it may allow China Airlines Co (華航) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) to run direct chartered cargo flights to and from China to ease disruptions caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) confirmed a Chinese-language newspaper report that the government is considering direct flights to China..

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the nation's biggest computer-motherboard-maker, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and other Taiwanese manufacturers have been shifting production to China to cut costs.

``It's good news that direct cargo flights, or even passenger flights, may be allowed, avoiding the possibility of picking up the virus during an intermediate stop,'' said Eddy Chen, who manages about NT$3.5 billion of funds at Ta Chong Investment Trust Corp (大眾投信).

Chen said he won't add airline stocks until SARS is contained and demand for travel rebounds.

China Airlines shares rose NT$0.15, or 1.3 percent, to NT$11.90. EVA Airways shares dropped NT$0.25, or 2.3 percent, to NT$10.45.

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