Sun, Jan 04, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Direct charter flights to hit 108 next week: CAA

PICK-UP Statistics showed the number of daily flights rising from 101 in the first week to 107 in the third week, with a high average load factor of 72.3 percent

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Direct cross-strait charter flights operated by carriers from Taiwan and China will hit the weekly target of 108 flights starting next week, as the new expanded service enters its fourth week, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said yesterday.

With destinations and flight numbers applied for by aviation companies continuously increasing, airlines from both sides will conduct a total of 108 two-way flights in the fourth week since the program’s inception on Dec. 15, CAA statistics showed.

ACCORD

In line with the terms of an accord signed by Taiwan and China last November, the two sides agreed to exchange a maximum of 108 charter flights each week based on the framework set up in July when they began allowing non-stop charters on weekends.

Although Taiwan opened eight airports allowing both Taiwan and China-based airlines to operate the daily charter flights between the two sides, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport in northern Taiwan, Taichung Chingchuankang Airport in central Taiwan and Kaohsiung International Airport are the most popular.

DAILY SERVICE

At the same time, the number of destinations in China have increased to 21 from five as the direct cross-strait charter program became a daily service.

During the first week of the daily charter service, aviation companies plied a total of 101 flights between the two sides, with the number growing to 106 in the second week and 107 in the third week, the CAA figures showed.

The statistics also showed that carriers plying the routes had an average passenger load factor of 72.3 percent during the first two weeks of operation between Dec. 15 and Dec. 28.

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