Airlines sign ground service pact

  Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines signed an agreement with Taipei-based China Airlines yesterday to provide ground services for its Taiwanese counterpart when the latter’s non-stop charter flight lands at Pudong Airport on February 5.

  China Airlines will make four flights to the mainland, with two to Beijing, one to Shanghai and another to Guangzhou, said Alex Tung, assistant vice-president of the airlines’ Ground Services Division.

  Under the agreement, China Airlines will also provide ground services for charter flights operated by China Eastern, which will land at Taoyuan Airport in Taipei.

  China Eastern will fly six legs, all bound for Taipei by using 322-seat Airbus A340-600 aircraft, with its first flight at 9 am on January 29.

  Luo Chaogeng, president of China Eastern Airlines Co Ltd, will be a pilot in the first three-crew member sortie bound for Taipei.

  "We aim to provide the most reliable flights and the most-qualified services for our passengers," Luo said.

  China Eastern carried about 500,000 Taiwan business people on its air routes from Shanghai to Hong Kong last year, where they transferred planes.

  "So I believe there will be enough passenger demand for these charter flights," he said.

  The carrier has opened more than 40 ticket sales outlets citywide. A return ticket between Shanghai and Taipei is priced at 3,000 yuan (US$363) to 3,700 yuan (US$448) and a single ticket at 1,500 yuan (US$182) to 1,800 yuan (US$218).

  The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China on Tuesday decided to designate six mainland airlines for cross-Straits charter flights during the coming Lunar New Year holiday.

  They are Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines.

  The airlines will operate 24 flights between Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taiwan’s two biggest cities, Taipei and Kaohsiung, from January 29 to February 20.