Tan Zhihong (1st L), vice president of Air China, Kong Dong (2nd L), chairman of Air China, Kao Koong-lian (3rd L), vice chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation and Lee Lung-wen, director-general of the "Civil Aeronautic Administration" of Taiwan attend the opening ceremony of the Taipei office of Air China in Taipei of southeast China's Taiwan, March 16, 2009. Air China is operating six routes between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. (Xinhua/Li Kai)
Mainland flag carrier Air China opened an office in Taipei Monday.
Air China Chairman Kong Dong told the opening ceremony that the airline would offer the most convenient service for people and companies on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and help promote cross-Straits communications.
With six cross-Straits routes, airlines had carried 57,900 passengers on 440 charter flights as of February, according to Kong. The mainland and Taiwan started direct flights on Dec. 15, 2008, ending a 59-year ban on such links.
Kong Dong (2nd R), chairman of Air China, shakes hands with Kao Koong-lian (2nd L), vice chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation, during the opening ceremony of the Taipei office of Air China in Taipei of southeast China's Taiwan, March 16, 2009. (Xinhua/Li Kai)
Kao Koong-lian, vice chairman and secretary-general of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, said direct flights have benefited people on both sides. He said he hoped to regularize cross-Straits direct flights during the next round of talks with the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.