|Mainland airlines to run cross-Straits charter flights|
The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) on Tuesday designated six Chinese mainland airline companies to participate in the non-stop charter flights across the Taiwan Straits during the coming Spring Festival.
The six mainland airlines are Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Hainan Airlines.
They will run 24 charter flights across the Taiwan Straits. Six charter flights will start from Beijing and run by Air China and Hainan Airlines. Ten flights will start from Shanghai and run by China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines. Eight flights will start from Guangzhou and run by China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.
A source from the CAAC said the six airline companies are negotiating with Taiwan counterparts on ground services.
Chinese mainland and Taiwan civil aviation circles reached consensus Saturday on launching non-stop charter flights for Taiwan business people during the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year.
According to the consensus, non-stop flights between mainland cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taiwan's Taipei and Kaohsiung will be in operation from Jan. 29 to Feb. 20 for Taiwanese business people work on the mainland and their relativesto go home for the Lunar New Year that falls on Feb. 9, a traditional festival for family reunion.
Each side will have six airlines to operate 24 non-stop round-trip flights over Hong Kong.
In 2003, Taiwanese civil aviation airplanes were for the first time since 1949 allowed to fly to the Chinese mainland. However, due to restrictions from the Taiwan authorities, the flights had to make stopovers in Hong Kong or Macao on their way to Shanghai or returning trips, and no airlines from the Chinese mainland were involved.