Publicado: Mier, Enero 31, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Airlines Cancel More Than 200 Flights Over Tensions Between China and Taiwan

Airlines Cancel More Than 200 Flights Over Tensions Between China and Taiwan

This month, China opened several new air routes, including a north-bound route up the Taiwan Strait.

China also sent its aircraft carrier the Liaoning through the Taiwan Strait twice this month.

Taiwan refused to allow two Chinese airlines, Xiamen Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, to expand service to the island during the Lunar New Year holiday, Focus Taiwan agency reported yesterday after Beijing angered Taipei's government by approving new air routes.

According to Focus Taiwan, it is estimated that the peak traffic will occur February 13, when there has been the most flight applications from the two Chinese airlines, offering around 3,310 seats.

Taiwan criticized China's move, citing an agreement in 2015 that Beijing would consult Taipei before commencing new flights in the region.

Tensions have been growing this month since China began operating new flight routes in the Taiwan Strait without consulting the island. China says there is no safety threat.

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Cross-strait relations have turned frosty since the inauguration of Ms Tsai, who refuses to acknowledge self-ruling, democratic Taiwan is part of "one China".

At a press conference on Tuesday, Taiwan's transportation minister, Ho Chen Tan, said that the government did not force the airlines to cancel their flights.

China Eastern Airlines said passengers affected by the cancellations include businesspersons, tourists and students.

At its peak, the airport is expected to accommodate more than 140,000 passengers daily, with total traffic during the Lunar New Year holiday period estimated to increase by 9 percent from the same period last year, according to the airport company. "All along we said we hope that the situation can meet the needs of travelers and that we can all discuss an appropriate arrangement for the added flights".

"At this time, they said themselves they don't want to apply. It's not at all that we said we didn't agree for them to apply", Ho continued.

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