A plane of TransAsia Airways with 157 passengers aboard took off from Taipei at 1:05 p.m. Monday and touched down about one and a half hours' later in China's southern city of Guangzhou, marking the start of cross-Strait charter flights after the Spring Festival.
TransAsia Airways used Airbus A-321 to carry out Monday's round-trip flights. There were 113 passengers on the plane's return journey, mainly relatives of Taiwan business people spending the Spring Festival or Taiwan compatriots who had chosen to travel across the Chinese mainland during the holiday, according to the China Southern Airlines, the ground service provider.
The cross-Strait charter flight service at Guangzhou will peak on Wednesday, with eight flights on schedule, and will close on Thursday, with two flights to be operated by China Airlines of Taiwan.
Also on Monday, two other charter flights departed on schedule from Xiamen in southeast Fujian Province.
The charter flights departing from Xiamen were done by Xiamen Airlines. The Boeing 757-200 with 190 passengers aboard, and the Boeing 737-800 with 73 passengers aboard headed for Taipei and Kaohsiung, respectively.
Ticket booking records showed 160 and 138 passengers would board the planes back to Xiamen, according to the Xiamen Airlines.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2008)