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Chinese mainland, Taiwan increase regular direct flights

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan on Monday extended the number of regular cross-Strait direct passenger flights from from 108 to 270 a week.

Six cities, including Hefei, Harbin, Nanchang, Guiyang, Ningbo and Jinan are joining another 21 mainland cities in operating direct passenger flights to Taiwan, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CACC) said Monday.

The 108 direct passenger flights previously operating were all classed as charter flights. The new services will comprise both regular charter and scheduled flights.

Among the 27 designated mainland terminals, 25 will launch scheduled direct passenger flights from Monday to Saturday, to Taipei's Taoyuan or Kaohsiung airports.

Scheduled direct cargo flights will be launched between Shanghai,Guangzhou on the mainland and Taoyuan, Kaohsiung, which will bring the total number of weekly charter and scheduled cargo flights to 28, according to the CACC.

The mainland and Taiwan began direct air and sea transport links and postal services on Dec. 15 last year. Previously, air and sea connections, including mail, were routed through a third location, usually Hong Kong.

On Nov. 4 last year, the mainland and Taiwan agreed to regular direct passenger charter flights across the Taiwan Strait. Before that, flights were only offered on weekends and during the country's four major traditional festivals -- the Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2009)