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Carriers promise to consider lowering cross-strait airfares

Carriers promise to consider lowering cross-strait airfares

Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Local carriers have promised to study the feasibility of lowering ticket prices for flights between Taiwan and China, an official of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Monday.
The pledge was made earlier Monday after the agency met with the six Taiwanese carriers that operate cross-strait flight services to discuss how the increased number of flights between Taiwan and China agreed upon April 26 will be distributed.
Many cross-strait travelers have complained about expensive airfare for the charter flights.
"During Monday's meeting, we asked airline executives about the feasibility of cutting cross-strait ticket prices. They responded that there is room for discussion, but a final decision will depend on the market situation and the number of flights each airline is allowed to increase," the CAA official said.
On how to distribute increased flights, the official said, airline executives only expressed their company's stances and failed to reach any consensus or conclusion.
"More discussions will be needed to resolve the issue," he added.
According to an agreement signed by Taiwan and China April 26, the number of direct cross-strait flights will be raised from the current 108 charter flights per week to 270 and some of them will be regularly scheduled flights taking off and landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport.
Meanwhile, China agreed to open six more destinations for such flights, in addition to the current 21 cities.
The number of cargo flights, which now stands at 30 per month, will be increased to 112.
Taiwan had proposed that the number of flights be increased to 300 per week because the load factor of the existing charter flights had increased sharply in recent months.
The new agreement will take effect after both sides complete their domestic procedures.
(By Sofia Wu)