Business leaders yesterday expressed regret over the collapse of plans for indirect cross-strait cargo flights, saying the government needs to improve negotiations with China on the issue.
"I think the Chinese authorities' decision will hurt the development of cross-strait trade," said Rock Hsu (
Although the charter cargo flights would still need to make a stop in Hong Kong or Macau, the time and resources saved by the measure would benefit China-based Taiwanese businesspeople.
According to the Mainland Affairs Council, the indirect flights would save an estimated US$50,000 to US$80,000 per trip and reduce transport time, now 12 to 16 hours per trip, to five hours.
"As the economic ties between the two sides are getting closer, I hope the two governments consider negotiating on this issue," Hsu said.
Another domestic business official said he is disappointed with the outcome.
"I regret that political factors are interfering with economic activities," said Tsai Horng-ming (
Two domestic air carriers, China Airlines Co (
"We haven't received any official papers regarding the application process," said China Airlines spokesman Roger Han (韓梁中).
When the council announced the flights measure, both China Airlines and EVA said they were happy to see movement on normalizing cross-strait traffic but that they would need to wait for official permission from the authorities in China before adopting a new cargo service network.
"We hope the two sides speed up [talks] to reach agreement on this issue to allow us provide better service to China-based Taiwanese businessmen," said EVA spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維).