Wed, Aug 15, 2007 - Page 2 News List

CAA confirms aviation agreement with Slovakia

RIGHT OF FLIGHTS The `fifth freedom of the air' enables Taiwanese airplanes to transfer from the international airport in Slovakia, located in Bratislava

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) confirmed yesterday that the nation signed an aviation service agreement last month with Slovakia, in which flights from both countries will be able to land at each other's airport and enjoy "the fifth freedom of the air."

The fifth freedom of the air, also known as the right for connecting flights, enables Taiwanese planes to transfer from the international airport in Slovakia and go on to other cities, and vice versa.

CAA director general Billy Chang (張國政) said yesterday that Slovakia's Civil Aviation Director- General Ian Braja had visited Taiwan two years ago to discuss the possibility of reaching a bilateral agreement.

The Slovak director also invited businesses in Taiwan to assist in developing the areas around Slovakia's international airport.

Chang said Slovakia's international airport is located in Bratislava, which is about a 40 minute drive from Vienna.

Japan has also arranged for charter flights to arrive at Bratislava. Taiwan's Delta Electronics Inc also has a factory in Bratislava.

Chang added that both airlines have asked Taiwan's Representative to negotiate with the Slovak government to provide more investment incentives on their behalf.

Apart from China Airlines and EVA, no other carriers have expressed a desire to invest in Slovakia as yet, Chang said.

Chang said the agreement was signed at a perfect time, as the Slovak representative in Taiwan will start handling Schengen Visa applications in their office in Taipei next year.

A signing ceremony was held on July 23. Besides Chang and Braja, it was also attended by China Airlines vice general manager Chou Kuo-hsing (周國興), EVA Air vice general manager Kao Wan-hsin (高萬鑫) and Taiwan's Representative to Slovakia Wu Wen-yea (吳文雅).

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