The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday said that Taiwanese airlines would be able to add additional flights to Shanghai to meet rising demand because of the presidential election and the Lunar New Year holiday, despite the fact the increased number would exceed the quota agreed in cross-strait negotiations.
The agency said the additional flights would be offered between Jan. 9 and Feb. 6 to facilitate the transportation of passengers during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Taiwanese carriers had applied to offer 87 additional cross-strait flights. China will provide 151 additional flights during the same period.
China has capped the number of flights to or from six popular airports, including Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Based on the cross-strait agreement, each side is only allowed to dispatch 50 additional flights departing from or heading to Shanghai.
However, the agency said that flights from Shanghai between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 were all full because many Taiwanese businesspeople wanted to return and vote in the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 14.
Taiwanese carriers, including China Airlines (CAL), EVA Airways and TransAsia Airways, have used up their quota for Shanghai to meet the demand.
The agency said EVA had applied to have four more flights between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Shanghai, as well as two between Kaohsiung International Airport and Shanghai.
Both CAL and TransAsia are planning to have seven additional flights operating between Taoyuan and Shanghai and two additional flights between Taichung and Shanghai.
The carriers need permission from both Taipei and Beijing to offer these additional flights.
The agency said the quota for Shanghai could be readjusted if there was an increase in demand.