The first cross-strait medical charter flight will take off today from Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, bound for Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Liu Te-shun (
It marks the first flight among four categories of special charter services approved by the Mainland Affairs Council.
The council on June 14 announced that cargo flights would allow the shipment of products manufactured in China to enter Taiwan as well as transporting Chinese tourists.
Passenger flights that currently provide services for the Lunar New Year holiday will be expanded to include three other festivals: Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The other flights cover medical and humanitarian matters.
Liu said that the first recipient of the medical charter will be a 70-year-old Taiwanese businessman who suffered cerebral apoplexy on Sept. 8 in Guangzhou and who is in a critical condition after undergoing treatment in Dongguan.
The patient's family has commissioned the International SOS Res-cue Center to arrange a transfer to Taipei General Veterans Hospital and applied for a medical flight with the Bureau of Immigration via the Straits Exchange Foundation on Sept. 12.
The flight will take off at 3pm in Guangzhou and arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Chinese medical attendants will not be allowed to enter Taiwan, Liu said.
The airplane is registered in China. It will return to China immediately after arriving in Taiwan via Hong Kong airspace.
Liu said that two days ago 20 Taiwanese citizens were injured in a car accident in China. If the victims need a charter flight, the government and the Straits Exchange Foundation would assist, he said.
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