TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwanese government on Tuesday (Dec. 24) announced a plan to add additional cross-strait flights between Jan. 11 and Feb. 8 to accommodate an expected influx of visitors during the Lunar New Year.
There will be caps on the number of extra flights allowed to fly to certain Chinese airports due to the huge volume of passengers, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). Shanghai Pudong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou airports will see 147, 9, 23, and 17 additional flights, respectively.
No extra flights have been arranged for Beijing, as no such requests have been filed, the CAA said. Airlines from both sides of the Taiwan Strait can apply for flights to other airports during the designated period, depending on market demand, the agency CAA added.
Applications will be processed by Dec. 31 to allow for better travel arrangements during the traditional Chinese holiday. Taipei Songshan Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport will be excluded from the program.
Chinese media has blamed the government of Taiwan for refusing to discuss the details of the extra flight program, accusing it of turning a blind eye to the needs of Taiwanese living in China. The availability of cross-strait flights could affect voter turnout as Taiwan gears up for the presidential election that falls on Jan. 11.