Airline News - Asia / Pacific.

 
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Jun 23, 2008

Chinese mainland airlines assigned by regulators to launch direct flights to Taiwan include China Southern Airlines, Air China, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. China and Taiwan signed a landmark deal last Friday to launch regular flights between the long-time rivals. Apart from special holidays, there have been no regular direct flights since 1949. China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled and democratic Taiwan ever since and has pledged to bring the island under its control, by force if necessary. But the election of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, who won by a landslide in March on pledges to boost the local economy by improving trade with China, has suddenly warmed relations. Jun 19, 2008

Six major Chinese carriers - Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Shanghai Airlines - have been chosen to operate the first weekend charter flights across the Taiwan Strait, according to CAAC. Based on last week's agreement between the Strait Exchange Foundation (Taipei) and the Assn. for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (Beijing), 18 flights will be permitted each weekend (including Fridays) beginning July 4. Air China, China Eastern and China Southern each will operate four while Hainan, SAL and Xiamen get two. Jun 19, 2008

Taiwan authorities announced that Mandarin Airlines, TransAsia Airways, Uni Air, China Airlines and EVA Air have been selected to fly across the strait. Industry analysts claim that China Eastern will benefit most from the cross-strait flights as 35% of Taiwanese living on the Chinese mainland reside in Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu Province. China Southern also will benefit, 25% live in the Pearl River Delta Region and 10% in nearby Fujian Province. China Eastern and EVA said they are interested in initial cooperation on MRO, ground handling and catering and will consider codesharing and loyalty program links. Jun 19, 2008

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand passengers flying to and from London Heathrow to Los Angeles, Hong Kong or Auckland will be the first to use a new service which allows access to the in-flight entertainment system from boarding until landing. Previously the entertainment system could not be turned on until the aircraft was airborne and was turned off again when cabin crew prepared to land. Air New Zealand's short haul fleet of Boeing 767 and Airbus A320 aircraft will be fitted with new on-demand touch screen entertainment...

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