President Tan Wan Geng said China Southern Airlines is optimistic about its Taiwan business because of growing demand for cross-strait flights, and the carrier hopes the number of such flights will increase in the future.
He said, "Only 400,000 Chinese tourists visited Taiwan since charter flights were allowed last year."
China Southern, China’s largest airline by fleet size, has now opened a Taipei branch, where it is allowed to sell tickets for cross-strait flights. The airline previously had a representative office in Taipei, and so couldn’t sell tickets directly to customers in Taiwan.
Taiwan’s civil aviation regulator said Monday that scheduled cross-strait flights will start August 31. At present, only chartered flights between Taiwan and China are allowed. After the change, the number of flights, both scheduled and chartered, will increase to 270 a week from 108.
Online Wall Street Journal reported that President Tan said air traffic has been improving very slowly recently, especially on the company’s domestic routes, and he expects demand in the second half to be better than in the first.