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Mainland, Taiwan to launch charter flights on Qingming Festival
Latest Updated by 2007-03-14 15:59:16

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan will launch 24 cross-Straits charter flights between March 30 and April 8 to facilitate homecoming trips for the Qingming Festival, which honors ancestors.

This will be the first time Taiwan residents can fly to the mainland on direct charter flights during Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Festival, which falls on April 5.

The service will be operated by 12 carriers from the mainland and Taiwan, the Shanghai government said Tuesday.

Shanghai Airlines will operate a flight from Shanghai to Taipei on March 31 with the return trip scheduled for April 8.

Charter flights by China Eastern Airlines, another Shanghai-based company, are set for March 31 and April 7.

The two companies will start selling tickets later this week. Although ticket prices have yet to be confirmed, industry insiders say they are likely to be cheaper than the Spring Festival charter flights.

Ninety-six round-trip direct charter flights were made during mid-February's Spring Festival this year. A business class round-trip ticket cost 6,500 yuan (833 U.S. dollars) and an economy class ticket 4,650 yuan (581 U.S. dollars) with Shanghai Airlines.

The first non-stop charter flights across the Taiwan Straits were launched during the Chinese Lunar New Year in 2005. Prior to that there had not been direct air links across the Taiwan Straits in more than five decades.

Cross-Straits charter flights will also be available during the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month or June 19th, and the Mid-Autumn Festival which falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month or September 25th.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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