TAIPEI, TAIWAN - FIVE Taiwanese airlines will operate weekend passenger charter flights to China starting July 4, an official at Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration said on Wednesday.
Taiwan and China signed a historic agreement last week to allow each side to operate 18 round-trip passenger charter flights from Friday through Monday, and to let more Chinese tourists visit the island.
On the first weekend, Taiwan's Mandarin Airlines, Transasia Airways Corp, and Uni Airways Corp will operate four round-trip flights to China, while China Airlines and Eva Airways will offer three, said the official.
The allocation would rotate each weekend so that each airline would get an equal number of flights in a five-week span, the official said.
Far Eastern Air Transport Corp, the sixth Taiwanese carrier authorised to offer such services, stopped flying on May 13 due to a lack of funds and is under bankruptcy protection until August 20.
Since flights to Shanghai's Pudong Airport are limited to nine round-trips per weekend under the air agreement, the five airlines would also rotate their Shanghai quotas, the official said.
China's top three state-controlled carriers by market share - Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines - will each operate four round-trip flights to Taiwan a week, according to Chinese officials.
China's three smaller carriers - Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Shanghai Airlines Co - will each operate two weekly round-trip flights. -- AFP