[photopress:air_travel_ma_jiang_yiu.jpg,full,alignright]In Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou is the Kuomintang presidential candidate and it is a fair bet he will get the title at the end of May. Prior to that he has said that if elected he will set a timetable for regular cross-strait flights.
His plan is that weekend charter flights be introduced by July 1, with daily charter flights between the Mainland and Taiwan to be available by the end of this year. He said the goal is to open regular cross-strait direct flights by June 2009.
Ma Ying-jeou talked about his cross-strait flight agenda while being interview by representatives from Taiwan’s high-tech industry and venture capital sector.
He said he would start the negotiations over the direct flight issue as soon as he takes office on May 20. He said he would designate airports in Taoyuan, Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taitung, and Penghu as terminals for cross-strait flights.
He would also open seaports in Keelung, Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Chiayi, and Tainan to direct shipping across the strait.
The opening of the direct cross-strait flights and transport links is meant to boost Taiwan’s tourism. To this end Ma Ying-jeou said he would also open Taiwan to tourists from the Mainland, with an initial daily quota of 3,000 people. The quota would be increased to 5,000 people the second year, 7,000 in the third, and 10,000 in the fourth.
Source: The China Post