Cross-strait regular flight services begin today, but neither Taiwan nor China will hold an inauguration ceremony to celebrate the launch of the service.
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials said the government and Taiwanese air carriers had already celebrated a few months ago when a special direct charter flight service that was launched to accommodate cross-strait travel during three major national festivals was expanded.
Following the agreement reached at cross-strait talks in April, Taiwan and China have agreed to move from charter flight service to regular flight services this year.
Both have agreed to raise the number of weekly direct flights from 108 to 270, and China has also agreed to increase the number of airports that offer the cross-strait flight services from 21 to 27.
Today, a total of 44 round-trip direct flights across the Taiwan Strait will be available, with Shanghai remaining the most popular destination.
Based on the schedule provided by the CAA, the first cross-strait flight departing from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will be Uni Air’s flight to Qingdao, which is scheduled to take off at 7:30am. The first flight leaving from Taipei Songshan Airport will be TransAsia Airway’s flight to Shanghai, which is scheduled to take off at 7:30am as well.
The first regular flight from China to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will be a China Eastern flight, departing from Ningbo at 9am and arriving at 10:25am.
The first regular flight from China to Songshan Airport will be a Shanghai Airlines flight, departing from Shanghai’s Hongqiao International Airport at 9:20am and arriving at 11am, the CAA said.
China was said reportedly deliberately arrange the Taiwanese flights to take off at unpopular time slots, making it difficult for airlines to deploy the aircrafts and flight personnel and affecting the ticket sale.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA
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