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[Shenzhen] Historic mainland-Taiwan regular flights launched
Latest Updated at 2008-December-16 15:12:27
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A B737-800 Shenzhen Airlines aircraft carrying 109 passengers took off from Shenzhen at 7:20 a.m. yesterday (Dec 15), marking the opening of regular direct flights between the mainland and Taiwan.

The opening of direct flights between Shenzhen and Taipei will greatly promote trade and tourism between Taiwan and the Pearl River Delta cities, Shenzhen Vice Mayor Zhang Siping said at the launch ceremony yesterday. He was among the 200 people who arrived before dawn to witness the historic flight.

Flight ZH9095 arrived at Songshan Airport in Taipei after an 80-minute flight.

The aircraft returned to Shenzhen at 11:30 a.m., carrying 100 passengers from Taiwan.

Shenzhen Airlines will operate regular flights to Taipei every Friday and Sunday starting from Sunday. Flights will leave Shenzhen at 8:20 a.m. and return from Taipei at 11 a.m.

Other airlines including China Southern Airlines and Taiwan鈥檚 China Airlines, EVA and UNI Air will operate 13 direct flights a week between Shenzhen and the island.

China Airlines flight CI-7987 arrived at the Shenzhen International Airport at 3:15 p.m. yesterday, becoming the first direct flight from Taiwan to Shenzhen. China Airlines will operate four flights a week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Chen Chi-cheng, 71, who has a factory in Songgang, Bao鈥檃n District, Shenzhen, said the direct flights would greatly cut time for the trip between Shenzhen and Taipei.

鈥淪uch a flight has been long anticipated,鈥 said Chen, who has worked in Shenzhen for eight years.

Hung Ming-chih, head of the Shenzhen Association for Taiwanese Business People, said there were 4,800 Taiwanese-funded enterprises and 60,000 Taiwanese living in Shenzhen. Another 90,000 Taiwanese lived in Dongguan and Huizhou.

Shenzhen is among 16 mainland cities added to the list of mainland destinations for cross-Straits direct charter flights after an agreement was signed between Chen Yunlin, chairman of the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and P.K. Chiang, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) in Taipei in early November. According to another agreement, the Shekou, Yantian, Chiwan and Mawan ports were listed among 63 mainland seaports to be allowed to operate direct cargo routes to 11 Taiwan seaports.

Editor: 寮犺幑

By: Han Ximin Source: Szdaily web edition

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