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Chinese mainland, Macao ink air transport deal

Civil aviation authorities of the Chinese mainland and the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Tuesday signed here a new memorandum of understanding (MOU), lifting part of the restrictions imposed on airline designation and capacity, with the aim to enhance the air transport between the two places.


The memorandum was signed by He Jinri, vice director of the Air Transport Bureau of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), and Chan Weng Hong, president of the Civil Aviation Authority of Macao SAR (AACM).


A similar MOU was already signed in December 2006, under which the number of mainland destinations opened for air transport operation with Macao was 57, and certain restrictions was imposed on designation of airlines and the capacity provisions.


As for the new memorandum, the number of destinations is still confined to 57, but the restrictions imposed on airline designation and capacity are partially lifted.


The mainland destinations for scheduled services which Macao currently connects to are 12, including Beijing, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Guilin, Kunming, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Wuhan, Tianjin and Wuxi. These services are operated by six mainland and Macao airlines.


The SAR's secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io thanked the Central Government for its long-term support rendered to Macao's aviation industry.


Meanwhile, Lau also proposed that the mainland authorities allow the mainland airlines to fly beyond points via Macao, Macao airlines to fly to beyond points via mainland cities and foreign airlines to fly to mainland cities via Macao.


For his part, Vice Minister of CAAC Yang Guoqing said that the central government will continue rendering support to the development of Macao's aviation and will study into the issues raised by the Macao side.


Both sides also agreed that the civil aviation authorities of Macao and mainland meet regularly to continually discuss and exchange opinions and establish cooperation regarding the enhancement of the air transport market between the two sides.


(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2009)