Regular flights have begun between Taiwan and China, for the first time since 1949. Planes took off for Taiwan from five Chinese cities on the first weekend voyages for what the mainland and island hope will be a booming tourist trade.
Chinese flights were an election promise of Taiwan’s new president, and agreement was reached last month for weekend charters. It is all part of the president’s plans to revitalise Taiwan’s economic links with China and foster transit. Estimates suggest as many as 50 million Chinese want to visit the island.
For the moment there are 36 round trips per weekend, enough for about 3000 visits a day. They will still have fly a roundabout route through Hong Kong airspace, for security reasons.