Mon, Jan 17, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Final details of charter trips yet to be approved

CNA , TAIPEI

Operational procedures for the special direct charter flights across the Taiwan Strait during the Lunar New Year holiday will be finalized tomorrow at the earliest, Civil Aero-nautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Billy Chang (張 國政) said yesterday.

The CAA will submit a draft of the procedures today to the Mainland Affairs Council for deliberation and approval, Chang said.

As soon as the CAA receives an approval letter from the Executive Yuan, it will begin to accept applications by domestic air carriers for charter services, Chang said.

He said regulations on the flights should be announced tomorrow.

Negotiators from Taiwan and China reached an agreement in Macau on Saturday to launch direct charter flights from Jan. 29 to Feb. 20 for the holiday.

According to the agreement, the services will be jointly operated by six air carriers from each side between Beijing, Shanghai and Guang-zhou and Taipei and Kaohsiung, with the flights having to detour over Hong Kong's air space.

With the consent of Beijing, six Taiwanese carriers operated charter flights in 2003 via Hong Kong andMacau. Services were discontinued last year because Beijing insisted that Chinese carriers be allowed to join the service but refused to come to discuss the issue with Taiwan.

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