Thu, Jan 20, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Shanghai Air may fly first special flight

STAFF WRITER , WITH AFP

Shanghai Airlines (上海航空) is expected to become the first Chinese carrier to fly direct between China and Taiwan since 1949, taking off from Shanghai for Taipei on Saturday.

"We have sent the proposed take-off time, which is set at 8:45am, to the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) for approval," Shanghai Airlines president Fan Hongxi (范鴻喜) told Xinhua news agency.

In Taiwan, the Minister of Transportation and Communications, Lin Ling-san (林陵三), said that as of 5pm yesterday, Shanghai Airlines was the first Chinese carrier to applied for the Civil Aeronautics Ad-ministration's approval concerning its flight schedule.

In addition to Saturday, the Chinese carrier also applied to fly from Shanghai to Taipei on Feb. 5 and Feb. 17, Lin said.

Taiwan and China agreed on Saturday to set up charter flights for next month's Lunar New Year holidays. The flights would run from Jan. 29 until Feb. 20.

Six Chinese airlines -- Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines -- will operate 24 flights between Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Six Taiwanese carriers will make a total of 11 round-trip flights.

If there were not enough passengers in Beijing and Guangzhou, the airlines based in Shanghai could be given more flights, Xinhua said, citing the CAAC.

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