09-25-2007 08:44

Special Report:   2007 Mid-Autumn Festival

Taiwan residents in Shanghai are heading home for the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Tuesday. Many are enjoying the convenience of Cross-Straits charter flights set up just for this period.

The first charter flight from Shanghai to Taipei took off Friday afternoon, with more than 200 passengers on board. Another two charter flights from Shanghai followed on Saturday. The flight takes about three hours. But it still has to stop in Hong Kong mid-way.

Yen Kuo-Hsuan, a passenger said "I will go back to Taiwan for a family reunion no matter if there is a charter flight or not. But I have to say the launch of charter flight at this time really saves our time and energy. If I use other flights, it will take one or two hours more."

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan started to introduce mid autumn festival charter flights in 2006. This year, a total of 12 airlines are participating in the flight scheme, 6 from mainland, and 6 from Taiwan. They will operate 24 flights, linking the four mainland cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, and Guangzhou with Taipei.

This year, Shanghai is shaping up to be the biggest source of passengers for mid autumn festival charter flights. Airline companies from across the strait will run 16 flights between Shanghai and Taipei, accounting for two thirds of the total flights.

Ticket prices for the charter flights have also seen a considerable drop this year. A round trip between Shanghai and Taipei in economy class will cost around 3200 yuan per head, and 5600 yuan for business class. The prices are about a third lower than last year's.


Editor:Xiong Qu