Air carriers in Taiwan and China are to offer additional flights for Taiwanese heading home for the Lunar New Year holiday next month, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said yesterday.
The additional flights are to be offered from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8, the agency said, adding that both sides have agreed on the program’s details.
As in the past, the two sides would only limit the number of additional flights departing from certain Chinese airports, the agency said, adding that it would not limit the total number of additional flights that carriers can offer.
The number of additional flights would be capped at 147 at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, nine at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, 23 at Shengzhen Baoan International Airport and 17 at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, the agency said, adding that no additional flight would be offered from Beijing, as no airline has filed a request to do so.
Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport are not covered by the program, it said, urging carriers to pay attention to the rule when applying to offer additional flights.
Regulators from both sides have expressed the wish to approve the airlines’ applications by Tuesday next week so that cross-strait travelers can start booking tickets, the agency said.
Due to the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, it has proposed that additional flights be offered on Jan. 9 and 10 as well so that Taiwanese working or studying in China can return home to vote.
Taiwanese carriers have proposed dispatching two extra flights from Pudong and one from Shengzhen on the two dates, the agency said.
On the other hand, Chinese carriers have proposed offering four additional flights from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport and three from Pudong, it said, adding that civil aviation authorities from both sides have agreed to quickly approve the additional flights.
“The additional flights are being offered due to Taiwan’s internal affairs and are different from those provided for homebound travelers for the Lunar New Year holiday. Consumer disputes could arise if a carrier uses unusually low fares to attract passengers for additional flights on these two days, therefore we will handle this matter under the principle that the two sides are equal entities, and closely monitor ticket prices and the load factor of these flights,” it said.
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