A two-day festival to celebrate the upcoming launch of direct flights between Taipei Songshan Airport and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport was held on the weekend, drawing large crowds.
The Songshan-Haneda flights, scheduled to begin on Sunday, are expected to boost the number of people traveling between the two countries each year from the current 2 million to 3 million, said the Japan Interchange Association, the organizer of the fair.
The event, held in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義), featured an exhibition of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, a Japanese taiko drum performance, a rock concert, as well as a lucky draw and various promotions by travel agencies and airlines to generate interest in the new flights.
“The launch of Songshan-Haneda flights will help promote the 2010-2011 Taiwan-Japan tourism exchange year,” said Tadashi Imai, head of the Japan Interchange Association’s Taipei office.
Imai was referring to a campaign designed to promote cultural and artistic exchanges between Japan and Taiwan after the third Taiwan-Japan Tourism Summit Forum, which took place in March.
All four carriers that will provide Songshan-Haneda flights — China Airlines, EVA Airways, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways — used the fair to promote their services.
The carriers said they would each offer two flights from Songshan to Haneda a day, with fares of about NT$14,000 for round-trip tickets, with stays of up to 30 days.
Songshan Airport offered direct flights to Haneda until 1979, when international flights were relocated to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, then known as Chiang Kai-shek Airport.
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