Representatives of the nation’s airlines and the travel industry yesterday expressed high hopes for an upcoming meeting hoping it will address urgent issues and make substantial changes to cross-strait charter flight services.
Travel Agent Association chairman Yao Ta-kuan said yesterday that the number of charter flights could be increased to at least 200 per week.
The meeting could also help add five more mainland airports to the list of those eligible for charter flights, he said.
Yao said the mainlandonly allows residents from 13 provinces to visit Taiwan and only 33 travel agencies on the mainland are authorized to arrange tour groups. He said he hoped these numbers would be at least doubled following the meeting.
Tony Su, chairman of the Taipei Airlines Association, said both sides had agreed during the first meeting in June that airline companies could start setting up offices on either side of the strait. However, Taiwanese airlines still cannot operate offices on the mainland the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has yet to stipulate guidelines that legalize such business operations in China.
Su said the safety of cross-strait charter flights was another critical issue.
While the two sides have reached a consensus to move from weekend-only charter flights to daily charter flights, Su said the number of Chinese tourists would also have to grow simultaneously.
He said, ‘There must be a real increase in the numbers of Chinese tourists and that increase cannot be just those who used to take transit flights via Hong Kong and Macau.’
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Source: Taipei Times
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