The air transport restrictions between Taiwan and Macau will soon be lifted after the two sides signed a new aviation agreement yesterday.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said the pact was signed in Macau by Lu Chang-shui (盧長水), director of the Mainland Affairs Council’s Macau affairs department, and Macau Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan Director Nadia Leong (梁潔芝).
The new agreement will replace the one signed in 2001 between the Taipei Airlines Association and Air Macau, the CAA said.
Currently, the number of passenger seats provided by each side is capped at 19,400 per week, while carriers on each side can deliver 400 tonnes of air cargo per week.
All the caps will be removed after the aviation pact takes effect, the CAA said.
“Carriers on both sides can decide the number of the flights they plan to dispatch depending on market demand,” it added. “The new pact does not list the names of carriers designated to operate the Taiwan-Macau flights. Each side can decide the carriers that are entitled to offer the service.”
The new agreement will also regulate charter flights between Taiwan and Macau.
Based on the new pact, carriers can apply to operate regular charter flights between Macau and the airports in Greater Taichung, Taitung, Magong, Kinmen, Greater Tainan or Chiayi. No cap will be placed on any of these flight services either.
Passenger flights to Macau are offered by EVA Air, TranAsia Airways and Mandarin Airlines in Taiwan, as well as Air Macau. The Taiwanese carriers jointly offer approximately 82 flights per week, whereas the Macanese airline offers about 35 flights per week.
No carrier currently offers cargo service.
From 2011 to last year, the average occupancy rate for Taiwan-Macau flights was 70.6 percent. Market analysts said the new pact would encourage more carriers to enter the market.
Unlike the old agreement signed between carriers, the Mainland Affairs Council said the new aviation pact was signed by government officials from both sides.
The CAA said the new aviation pact would give carriers more flexibility in arranging flights and provide consumers with more options.