China, Taiwan agree extra flights

China and Taiwan reached agreement on Friday about adding extra flights between the two sides, state media said.

China, Taiwan agree extra flights

China and Taiwan reached agreement on Friday about adding extra flights between the two sides, state media said, following an argument over slots which threatened to derail warming trade ties after six decades of hostility.

Direct flights only started in 2008 with the election of the China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou as Taiwan president. The island, claimed by China as its own, had barred them as a security risk.

Last month, Taiwan said it would reconsider permits for Chinese carriers that cover some of the 370 weekly flights launched between the two sides since 2008. It said China had pushed Taiwan airlines into low-margin red-eye time slots.

China and Taiwan have now reached a consensus after two days of talks to add 100 more flights per week as soon as possible, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said. They had originally agreed in May to increase the number of flights.

Beijing had criticised Taiwan's reaction, saying the island's carriers had left out routes key to China's development.

"The two sides talked about many technical issues and the mainland sought Taiwan's understanding regarding the status quo of the mainland's busy air routes," Xinhua said.

"Further, both sides agreed to resume additional flights as soon as possible and strengthen talks over cross-Straits aviation exchanges."

Cross-strait flights have been hugely profitable for airlines like Taiwan's top two carriers China Airlines and Eva Airways, as well as Beijing-based Air China and China Eastern Airlines.

The flights have been popular not only with Chinese tourists, once largely banned from the island, but also with the hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese who live in China and used to have to fly home via Hong Kong or other third destinations.


Reuters

Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2010, 17:15
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