Chinese mainland, Taiwan airlines expand cooperation

17:06, December 28, 2010      

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Chinese mainland-based Xiamen Airlines and Taiwan-based Mandarin Airlines announced Monday that they would begin sharing flight codes on two cross-Straits flight routes in a move to assist those people flying between southeastern Fujian's Xiamen city and the island's Taipei and Kaohsiung.

This means that beginning Jan 1, there will be two codes on the same airline operated by the two companies across the Strait, and they will also share the same plane to carry passengers.

"The cooperation is between the only airlines headquartered in the economic zone on the western side of the Taiwan Strait and the China Airlines Group, Taiwan's largest airlines and the parent company of Mandarin Airlines," said Sun H.H., president of China Airlines.

Sun said flights between Xiamen and Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport would increase to 14 per week, and those between Xiamen and Kaohsiung would increase to three per week as a result of sharing flight codes.

"Passengers can have more flight choices," said Che Shanglun, general manager of Xiamen Airlines, adding that the cooperation would enhance each other's consumer shares in markets on both sides of the Straits, and valuable management experiences could also be learned from each other.

He said the current flight capacity operated by the two carriers made up nearly one-third of the total flights between Taiwan and Fujian province, which stands opposite Taiwan across the Strait with a large number of Taiwan businessmen.

Che said cooperation between the two airline companies dates back to 1997.

Sun added that the China Airlines Group also had similar cooperation with China Southern Airlines, the largest shareholder of Xiamen Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines, two key operators on the mainland. But there is no concrete cooperation between it and Air China, the mainland's largest airline.

China Airlines has operated 15 routes between Taiwan and major mainland cities and is still looking for new destinations, Sun said.

Top negotiators from the mainland and Taiwan agreed to increase the number of Spring Festival chartered planes to make return trips easier for Taiwan people working on the mainland during a high-level cross-Strait talks last week in Taipei.

Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung said Taiwan hoped to raise the number of charted flights to 122, which is still under discussion by the two side's civil aviation authorities.

Source: Xinhua
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