Mon, Dec 29, 2014 - Page 3 News List

No caps set on extra Lunar New Year flights: agency

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Neither side of the Taiwan Strait will cap the number of additional cross-strait flights during next year’s Lunar New Year holiday, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said, although five Chinese airports would limit flights.

In addition to already scheduled flights, additional flights are usually provided from Taiwan and China to ease cross-strait travel during the holiday.

However, both sides must negotiate the number of additional flights made available each year.

The agency said next year’s deal was reached after a recent meeting in China between Taiwanese and Chinese civil aviation officials, with both sides agreeing that additional flights be offered between Feb. 5 and March 5.

The CAA said that five Chinese airports have set caps on the maximum number of additional flights.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is capped at 165 flights and Beijing is capped at 39 flights. Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou airports are capped at 19, 24 and 57 respectively.

Additional flights to and from Shanghai, where a large number of Taiwanese live, increased by 57 percent over this year, the CAA said.

In related news, the latest statistics from the Ministry of the Interior showed that Chinese nationals accounted for the highest percentage of visitors to Taiwan in the first 11 months of the year.

In the period from January to last month, of the nation’s 8.96 million overseas visitors, 54.5 percent were from China, Hong Kong and Macao, 16.6 percent from Japan and 5.7 percent from the US, the figures showed.

The most notable growth in terms of visits to Taiwan was an 11.4 percent increase in the number of travelers by boat between Kinmen County and China’s coastal cities in the time period, the data showed.

Up until last month, Taiwanese made a total of 10.94 million trips overseas, with 48.7 percent traveling to China, Hong Kong and Macao, and 25.2 percent to Japan.

In total, the number of arrivals and departures in Taiwan was 39.67 million in the first 11 months of this year, up 14 percent from the same period last year, the statistics showed.

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