Local airlines eye cross-strait transit profits
Top management at China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Airways (EVA), the two largest airlines in Taiwan, said they are optimistic about the market perspective following the upcoming realization of cross-strait transits, which allows Chinese nationals to transit through Taiwan.
CAL Chairman Sun Hunghsiang ( ) and EVA President Austin Cheng ( ) told CNA at the recently concluded annual International Airline Transport Association's (IATA) meeting in Miami, Florida earlier this week that the new policy could drive market growth significantly.
The policy could attract Chinese passengers, who used to transfer via Japan, South Korea or Hong Kong for the United States, to transfer in Taiwan he said.
At present, Taiwanese travelers can make transit stops in China en route to other countries, but China does not allow its nationals to do so through Taiwan, which has put Taiwanese airlines at a significant disadvantage relative to their regional rivals.
Beijing fears that nationals showing their passports in Taiwan during transit stops or layovers will signal that it sees Taiwan as a country.