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June 15, 2010

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It's a Shanghai-Taipei short cut

THE flight that arrived from Taipei's Songshan Airport arrived at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport at 10:25 am yesterday was a historic one.

It was the first of what now will be regular flights on the Hongqiao-Songshan route. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin headed a delegation to Shanghai on the inaugural flight.

At 11:23am, a China Eastern Airlines jet took off from Hongqiao International Airport for Songshan Airport.

From now, 28 flights will travel between the two airports each week.

Airlines from the mainland and Taiwan will each operate 14 flights weekly. The flight takes about an hour and 45 minutes.

Because of its bee-line route, the trip is more than an hour shorter than the flight between Shanghai's Pudong International Airport and Taipei's Taoyuan Airport.

"The new route shortens the trip between Shanghai and Taipei and will further facilitate economic and cultural exchanges between the two cities," Hau said at the airport.

He said more Taiwan people were expected to visit the Shanghai World Expo via the more convenient flight.

Mainland people were urged to visit the Taipei International Flora Expo to be held on November 6.

Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said at a meeting with Hau last night that the new flight route resulted from a strong, joint effort by the two cities.

He agreed it would benefit the cross-Strait relationship.

"The dream finally comes into true," said Lee Maw-sheng, chairman of the Shanghai Taiwanese Investment Enterprises Association.

"Both of the airports are located in downtown city areas so we can get home quickly after getting off the plane."

Han invited the Taiwan delegation to visit the Expo yesterday.

He said the event had run smoothly in the past 45 days.

The Taiwan Pavilion has attracted many visitors with its theme of environmental protection and technology.

Han promised to send delegations to attend the Taipei flora expo.

Hau visited the Hongqiao transport hub yesterday after his arrival.

He is also in Shanghai to participate in Taipei Culture Week.

He is scheduled to visit the World Expo, the Bund, the Shanghai Botanic Garden and Fuxing High School.


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