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Tickets for Spring Festival charter flights to Taiwan go on sale Monday
19/12/2005 11:57

Shanghai Daily news

Taiwanese people living in the city can book tickets for chartered flights to the island province for the upcoming Spring Festival beginning today.
The air tickets will be available to local Taiwanese at 9am Monday at 25 ticket agents working China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines and their booking agencies both in Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu Province.
Reservation can also be made by calling 1010-5858 or 95108.
From January 20 to February 13, the two airlines will run 16 holiday flights from the city to Taipei and Kaohsiung. The flights will carry up to 7,824 passengers, a 64 percent increase from last year.
Considering about 500,000 Taiwanese people work and live in Shanghai and neighboring cities, most passengers should book other tickets and take flights that stop over in Hong Kong or Macau.
David Tian, general manager of China Eastern Airlines's local sales office, said the carrier has prepared several tickets to satisfy different demands.
"Taiwan people can either buy round trip tickets or they can get a single trip ticket on a chartered flight and use a traditional flight for their return journey," Tian said.
A round-trip ticket in first class costs 7,000 yuan (US$843) while the price for an economy class ticket is 4,300 yuan.
"As usual the chartered flights will receive special interior decoration to go along with the holiday atmosphere," he added.
As part of the safety assurance procedure, three airports - Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, Nanjing Lukou Airport (Jiangsu Province) and Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport (Zhejiang Province) will serve as the backup sites for the takeoff or landing for chartered flights in case something unusual such as bad weather closes the main site - Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Tian wouldn't say how much money his airline expects to earn from offering the chartered flights. He said it is too early to predict demand for the flights.
Normally, all flights between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan must stop over in Hong Kong or Macau.