The Taiwan authorities have agreed to allow chartered flights to operate to and from the mainland to help carry the many Taiwanese wanting to return home during busy periods such as the Chinese New Year. The carriers will have to stop over in Macau or Hong Kong and the move still requires the approval of the authorities in Beijing and the SARs.
In a separate development, Star Cruises launched its maiden Taiwan-Shanghai voyage in November. The eight-day trip operates between Keelung harbour northeast of Taipei and includes a stopover on Japan's Okinawa Island, due to Taiwan's ban on direct shipping links with the mainland. Star Cruises, which is Asia's largest cruise line operator, said the public response to the service had been surprisingly good.