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1st Charter Flights for Dragon Boat Festival Take off


The Chinese mainland and Taiwan will, for the first time, launch cross-Strait charter flights for the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on June 19 this year. Five mainland airline companies including Air China and six Taiwan companies including China Airlines will undertake 21 round flights from June 15 to June 22, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) here Monday. The cities involved are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen on the mainland, and Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, according to the CAAC. Shanghai terminal will be the busiest with 14 round flights, according to the CAAC. The first non-stop charter flights across the Taiwan Strait were launched during the Chinese Lunar New Year in 2005. Prior to that there had not been direct air links across the Taiwan Strait for more than five decades. In June 2006, the mainland and Taiwan agreed to open charter flights for other traditional festivals, including Qingming or Tomb-sweeping Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, is said to be in memory of a patriotic Chinese poet who drowned over 2,000 years ago.

(Source:Xinhua News Agency , 2007-06-11)