China divides Taiwan weekly flights among airlines

Updated: 2008-06-18
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China's civil aviation authority has divided weekly flights to Taiwan, with the country's top three carriers each obtaining four return flights a week, it said on Tuesday.


The country's big three carriers are China Southern Airlines , Air China and China Eastern Airlines .


Smaller regional carriers Hainan Airlines , Shanghai Airlines and Xiamen Airlines will also each operate two return flights on a weekly basis, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.


"These will be initial arrangements," the aviation regulator said in a statement published on its website . "We will increase carriers in future in line with rising demand."


China and Taiwan signed a landmark deal last Friday to launch regular flights between the long-time rivals. Apart from special holidays, there have been no regular direct flights since 1949.


China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled and democratic Taiwan ever since and has pledged to bring the island under its control, by force if necessary.


But the election of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, who won by a landslide in March on pledges to boost the local economy by improving trade with China, has suddenly warmed relations.


SOURCE: Reuters


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