The first charter flight left Beijing on Saturday morning for
Taipei, carrying 142 passengers across the Taiwan Straits for
Spring Festival family reunions.
It was the fifth year that cross-Straits charter flights were
offered for the traditional Chinese lunar new year, to fall on Feb.
7 this year.
Most of the passengers were Taiwan businessmen and their
relatives, according to Hainan Airlines, which operated the
Some of the Taiwan people who are scheduled to take the flight
back to Beijing are tourists, the company said.
The weather in Beijing was fairly good, the company said.
Another flight, with 299 passengers on board, left amid snowy
weather in Shanghai after an hour of delay.
Four round-trip flights were scheduled on Saturday, the first
day of the charter flight season between Feb. 2 and 15, one from
Beijing and three from Shanghai.
"It snowed heavily here today. I had been worried but the
airline told me that it was well prepared for a safe take-off and
flight," said a Taiwan passenger. "I am quite excited to go
It was the second time for another Taiwan businessman to take
the charter flight. "It is quite convenient for me. I hope there
will be regular flights on the same route as charter ones," he
About 200,000 Taiwan people now live in Shanghai.
Twelve airlines from both sides will run 94 round-trip flights
between Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen in the mainland and
Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
The Chinese mainland and Taiwan launched charter flights for the
Spring Festival season in 2003.
(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)