Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - Page 2 News List

CAA releases charter flight details

JULY 4 PREPARATIONSA total of 16 round-trip flights are planned for the opening day of the new cross-strait travel program, with a CAL flight to Shanghai the first to depart

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday released its cross-strait charter flight plan that will take effect on July 4, with Taipei Songshan Airport proving the most popular destination for the Chinese airlines and Kaohsiung the least popular.

None of the airlines has applied to land in Kaohsiung.

CAA Deputy Director-General Lin Shinn-der (林信得) told a press conference yesterday that although Xiamen Air was the only one of the six Chinese carriers to submit an official application, the other five had told the council which routes they are interested in.

China Southern Airlines said it wanted one round-trip flight between Guangzhou and Taoyuan International Airport next Friday, with the flight leaving Guanzhou at 7:20am.

Lin said almost all the Chinese airlines wanted flights to Songshan.

Chinese Eastern Air has asked if it could have two round-trip flights to Songshan next Friday, one from Nanjing and the other from Shanghai.

Songshan’s popularity means the council will have to shorten the intervals between two arriving or departing flights from two hours to one-and-a-half hours.

There will be a total of 16 round-trip flights for Taoyuan, 13 for Songshan, three for Taichung, one for Hualien and three for Makung.

As Songshan is also the only airport that has not had experience in handling a cross-strait charter flight, the council is planning a dress rehearsal next Wednesday, Lin said.

The council’s schedule shows that China Airlines (CAL) will have one round-trip flight between Taoyuan and Beijing and two round-trip flights between Taoyuan and Shanghai.

One of CAL’s Taoyuan-Shanghai flights, which is scheduled to leave at 7:30am on July 4, will become the first cross-strait charter flight leaving the country.

EVA Airways will have one round-trip flight between Taoyuan and Beijing, one between Taoyuan and Shanghai, and one between Taoyuan and Guangzhou.

Mandarin Airlines will have a round-trip flight between Taoyuan and Shanghai, one between Taoyuan and Guangzhou, one between Taichung and Xiamen and one between Magong and Xiamen.

Uni Air is planning for one Taoyuan-Shanghai round-trip, one Songshan-Shanghai flight and two Taichung-Xiamen flights.

TransAsia Airways will have one Songshan-Shanghai flight, one Hualien-Guangzhou flight and two Magong-Xiamen flights.

The CAA has approved Xiamen Air’s application for two round-trip flights between Xiamen and Songshan. The first flight will leave from Xiamen at 7:25am and land at Songshan at 9am.

Lin said the 18 round-trip flights departing from Taiwan have all been filled.

The council also provided ticket price information yesterday. A roundtrip ticket on the Taoyuan-Shanghai charters, for example, will cost between NT$14,175 and NT$17,629 before tax. That is slightly less than a regular flight via Hong Kong or Macau, which is usually between NT$14,429 and NT$20,000.

The Taoyuan-Beijing flights and Taoyuan-Nanjing flights will be more expensive than regular flights.

“The price of gas has risen by 20 to 30 percent as of this month,” Lin said, explaining why a shorter flight time has not translated into a cheaper ticket. “For now, there are not as many charter flights as those to Hong Kong or Macau, either.”

Lin said the council has a long-term plan to turn Songshan’s first terminal into an exclusive facility for cross-strait charters, while the second terminal would handle domestic flights.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top