Air China News
Air China to Begin Regular Cross-strait Passenger Charter Flights
(Zhu Jia and Shan Wenbing) After the Jiang-Chen Talk, CA187, the first regular cross-strait passenger charter flight operated by Air China, will take off from Tianjin and fly to Taipei on December 15, 2008. After that, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Chengdu and other new destinations will be opened successively. At the same time, Air China’s route frequency from Shanghai to Taipei will be increased to 4 flights per week, setting off a new wave of cross-strait charter flights.
On November 4, representatives of the two sides signed the Cross-strait Air Transport Agreement. Regarding the route, the Agreement officially permits the opening of a two-way direct air route at the northern end of the Taiwan Strait, thus avoiding the previous requirement that flights pass through the Hong Kong Flight Information Region. At the same time, weekend charter flights have been expanded to regular weekday charter flights. In addition to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen and Nanjing, another 16 cities in the mainland including Chengdu have been opened as new destinations, which not only provides more choices for passengers traveling to and from the Strait, but also prevents passengers from trouble and fatigue in transit and greatly saves their time. For example, it takes only 3 hours to fly from Chongqing Municipality in the western part of the mainland to Taiwan after opening of direct flights, saving about 4 hours of transit time for passengers.
After implementing regular weekday charter flights, the destinations of Air China will be located in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Chongqing and Chengdu. Specifically, there will be a flight on each Friday and Sunday flying from Beijing to Taipei; a flight on each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday flying from Shanghai to Taipei; after the first flight on December 15, there will be a flight on each Friday flying from Tianjin to Taipei and a flight on each Saturday flying from Hangzhou to Taipei; there will also be a flight on Friday flying from Chongqing and Chengdu to Taipei. These flight arrangements will provide faster and more extensive air service for passengers on both sides of the Strait.
Air China has attached great importance to the undertaking of social responsibility. Whether dealing with Chinese New Year charter flights, holiday charter flights or later weekend charter flights, Air China never spares any effort to satisfy the needs of compatriots on both sides of the Strait and seeks to build a bridge for cross-strait communication and exchange. For these newly added flights, Air China has made careful arrangements for deployment. It has already sent staff to Taiwan to set up a preparatory office and successfully completed various coordination issues. Regarding the aircraft type, Air China has prepared more than 10 painted aircrafts to operate on cross-strait routes, including Airbus 330 and Boeing 737-800, among which are the widely acclaimed Forbidden Pavilion Aircraft and Capital Pavilion Aircraft, and the recently launched “Sichuan Aircraft” and “Peony Aircraft”. The pattern painted on these aircrafts fully reflects the characteristics of traditional Chinese culture, exuding feelings of happiness and peace that we hope will convey our love for our Taiwanese compatriots. As for the crew to serve on cross-strait flights, Air China has selected a number of crew members who are highly professional and technically skilled, with rich experience on cross-strait routes and many honorary flying titles to provide high grade flight operation for passengers. The cabin attendants have also been carefully selected; with a high proficiency in English and excellent communication skills, they will bring passengers the highest quality of “four C” services. For the meals on cross-strait flights, Air China has specially designed menus with Taiwan inspiration and local mainland characteristics according to the features of this route, reflecting the theme of being “green, healthy and environment-friendly”. Air China has implemented an entirely open model for ticket sales on this route. Passengers may purchase tickets through Air China’s global sales service center, direct sales outlets and authorized agents at home and abroad. At the same time, for Taiwan businessmen, relatives of Taiwanese patriots, Taiwan travel tours, travel tours made up of domestic citizens to Taiwan and other groups; Air China has designed series of rich itineraries and service products, so as to provide the greatest convenience and benefits to passengers.