The first cross-Straits weekend charter flight from China's mainland to Taiwan landed at Taipei Taoyuan airport early Friday Morning.
The historic flight, which took off at 6:31 a.m. from Guangzhou, capital city of China's southern Guangdong Province, arrived at about 8:10 a.m. after a 1,124-km journey.
More than 100 mainland tourists aboard the Airbus A330 of China Southern Airlines (CSA) became the first group of people on a sight-seeing tour allowed to Taiwan amid warming cross-Strait ties.
Another four weekend chartered flights also took off Friday morning from Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Xiamen respectively.
Flight MF881 from Xiamen of southeastern China's Fujian Province, taking off at 7:16 a.m., has arrived at the Songshan Airport in Taipei.
A total of 760 mainland tourists across the mainland are on the unprecedented journey to Taiwan and will stay there for 10 days.
In Beijing, a ceremony was held in the morning for the launching of the cross-Straits weekend charter flights as well as the mainland tourists visiting Taiwan.
Wang Yi, director of both the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, said that Friday marked a new beginning in the history of cross-Straits exchanges.
Cross-Straits relations are facing a hard-won development opportunity, and direct contacts between the compatriots on both sides must be beefed up to enhance their mutual understanding and achieve new progress in the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2008)