SkyTeam to make cross-straits travel easier

21 Jun 2013

The four Greater China SkyTeam member carriers - China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines – have announced a new scheme to enhance and streamline cross-straits travel.

This new initiative, which comes not long after they came together to form the Greater China Connection programme (see story here), will see them working even more closely together and aligning their schedules to offer passengers return shuttle services across the Taiwan Strait, thus enabling one-day commutes for business travellers.

Furthermore, China Southern Airlines has recently launched three new Cross-Straits flights: Zhangjiajie-Taipei, Urumqi-Taipei and Wuhan-Kaohsiung. Meanwhile, the Taiwan-based China Airlines is gearing up to launch two new flights across the Taiwan Strait. On June 25, the carrier will begin flights between Taipei and Urumqi, between Taipei and Lijiang on June 26 and finally between Weihai and Taipei in late July. Together, these new routes offer passengers greater flexibility. 

A recent boom in travel between Taiwan and China, thanks to greater political co-operation, drives this focus on the cross-straits market. According to SkyTeam, as of March 2013, cross-straits flight capacity grew by 7.8 per cent from the year before. Industry intelligence provider CAPA - Centre for Aviation – states that the cap on the number of weekly flights between China and Taiwan is set to increase to 616 this year as well as more airports welcoming cross-straits flights in both nations. This lucrative market is grabbing the attention of other global airline alliances too, such as Star Alliance, which welcomed Taiwan-based Eva Air into its network thus providing it with a strategic presence in this market (see story here).

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Alisha Haridasani

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