China's Shenzhen Airlines plans to receive 25 Taiwanese pilots as part of a Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) initiative to help China overcome its pilot shortage problem.

A Shenzhen Airlines spokeswoman in Shenzhen says the CAAC has allocated Shenzhen Airlines 25 Taiwanese pilots.

She says the CAAC is recruiting 80 Taiwanese pilots in total and allocating them to different airlines around China.

Another Shenzhen official, who is directly involved in pilot recruitment, confirms to ATI that the carrier is to receive 25 Taiwanese pilots allocated by the CAAC.

He says Shenzhen has about 77 aircraft - a mix of Airbus A320s, Boeing 737s and Embraer 190s - and needs more pilots because it has aircraft on order. CAAC officials in Beijing were unavailable for comment today.

China has recruited Taiwanese pilots before. In late 2005 Sichuan Airlines became the first carrier in China to recruit pilots from Taiwan. Taiwanese pilots are popular because of their Chinese language skills.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news