Six airlines were granted permission to fly charter services between Taiwan and the mainland during the Spring Festival, the first such flights in more than 50 years. Although the flights had to stop in Hong Kong or Macau, passengers were not required to change planes, as is the normal practice, thus shaving an hour from the journey time.
The flights were aimed at Taiwanese business executives wanting to return home for the holiday, but tickets were offered to all 'Taiwan compatriots' registered with Shanghai's Taiwan business association. Sixteen round-trip flights were organised, but late official approval limited sales opportunities. Of the 1,600 tickets on offer, only 500 had been sold by January 13.