China invites Taiwan for talks on extending direct charter passenger flights

TAIPEI (XFNews) - China has invited Taiwan to discuss the provision of further cross-strait charter flights around the Chinese New Year holidays early next year, a source familiar with the matter said.

"Yes, we have received an invitation from the mainland, but an official response may have to be determined by government authorities," an official at the office of TransAsia Airways Chairman Tony Fan said.

The invitation was addressed to Fan in his capacity as chairman of the Taipei Airlines Association, by Pu Zhaozhou, vice chairman of the mainland's Cross-Strait Aviation Transport Exchange Council.

Officials at the Mainland Affairs Council, which oversees Taiwan's policy toward the mainland, were not immediately available for comment.

Direct flights across the Taiwan Strait had been banned since 1949 at the end of a civil war.

In late January until late February, Taiwan and China offered the first direct charter flights in more than five decades, taking Taiwan businessmen and their families home for the Chinese New Year holidays.

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