Chinese and Taiwanese airlines have made history with the first non-stop flights between the rival territories in 55 years.

The first flight across the Taiwan Strait (excluding those by hijacked aircraft) since 1949 was a charter operated by China Southern Airlines on 29 January between its Guangzhou base and Taipei's Chiang Kai Shek International airport.

China Airlines operated the first non-stop flight from the Taiwanese side to mainland China on the same day, between its Taipei base and the Chinese capital Beijing.

Flights are being permitted until 20 February to carry Taiwanese business people living in China home for the Chinese New Year holidays. Airlines from both sides hope the temporary arrangements will eventually become permanent. The two sides agreed a landmark deal to allow six airlines from each to operate a combined total of 48 round-trip services over the Chinese New Year holiday period.

Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Xiamen Airlines have been designated as the Chinese carriers that will operate to Taiwan. The six Taiwanese airlines that will be operating the temporary services to China are China Airlines, EVA Air, Far Eastern Air Transport, Mandarin Airlines, TransAsia Airways and UNI Airways.


Source: Flight International