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Cross-strait Charter Fights Ends
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The two weeks of cross-strait charter flights between Chinese mainland and Taiwan for the Lunar New Year holiday were concluded on Monday amid urges for an earlier realization of regular direct flights.


A total of 96 round-trip direct charter flights to connect mainland cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Xiamen with Taipei and Kaohsiung of Taiwan were made, carrying Chinese longing for family reunions across the Straits for the Lunar New Year which began on Feb. 18.


The total number of charter flights passengers is now not available.


According to airports in Guangzhou and Xiamen, about 10,000 Taiwan compatriots traveled across the Straits by the flights in the last two weeks.


Shanghai and Beijing will report more passengers as the two cities operated more than two thirds of the scheduled flights.


It has been the fourth year in a row that both sides operated charter flights for the Lunar New Year holidays.


Airlines across the Straits have urged authorities to realize regular direct flight as soon as possible.


Zhou Chi, chairman with the Shanghai Airlines, said the current non-regular charter flights cannot satisfy the demands of Taiwan compatriots who come to the mainland for festival family reunions.


Zhou's remarks was echoed by Lin Show-hwa, spokesman of the Eva Air who called for the cross-strait tourism to be realized as earlier as possible.


(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2007)


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