Published on : Tuesday, February 6, 2018
The Aviation Authority of Taiwan has decided not to approve the flights run by China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines during the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar, Spring Festival, which will be held from Feb 15-21.
In the earlier dates of January, mainland China started using four flight paths, including the northern part of air route M503 which closely follows the middle line of the Taiwan Strait. However, the Taiwanese authorities said they had not been consulted over the routes and described mainland China’s behaviour as “reckless – an endangerment to flight safety and politically motivated”. They authorities repeatedly asked to withdraw these four paths.
However, a Chinese mainland official responded by saying that the operation of the M503 air route is “in line with people’s common interests” and aimed at easing traffic congestion amid the growing number of flights over the Yangtze River and Pearl River Delta areas.
With this decision in place,more than 50,000 passengers are expected to face travel chaos.
Since the Chinese Civil War in the 1940s, the mainland China and Taiwan have been ruled separately. Taiwan and mainland China began charter flights during Spring Festival in 2004.