Beijing, Mar 10 (EFE).- Taiwan on Friday resumed regular direct flights to 10 Chinese cities and another 13 cities by charter flight three years after connections with China were dropped to a minimum due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The reinstated routes will link the Taiwan cities of Taoyuan, Taipei and Kaohsiung with Chinese cities Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Qingdao, Wuhan, Ningbo and Zhengzhou, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) reported Thursday.
Until now, the only commercial flights available had been between Taipei, Taoyuan and Kaohsiung and Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xiamen.
The resumption of these connections was decided after considering risks, airline operational capacity and the traditional volume of business and travel between the cities, according to MAC Deputy Minister Jan Jyh-horng at a press conference.
Charters will be allowed to travel to Chinese cities that “have not met the conditions for resumption of flights,” namely Shenyang, Wuxi, Haikou, Changsha, Xi’an, Jinan, Hefei, Nanchang, Tianjin, Wenzhou, Dalian, Guilin, and Xuzhou.
In February, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office had announced that it would continue working on the resumption of more direct flights across the Taiwan Strait.
On Thursday, a spokesman for the office said the resumption of flights will benefit cross-strait personnel exchanges and communication, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.
He also called on Taipei to facilitate the normalization of direct flights and ferry routes, including travel between Fujian’s coastal areas and Kinmen and Matsu.
China, which withdrew the mandatory quarantines for all incoming passengers on Jan. 8 after almost three years of border closures, still requires a negative PCR test from travelers arriving from abroad, except for some countries such as Russia, Singapore and New Zealand.
Taiwan stopped carrying out PCR testing on travelers from China in February. EFE