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Taiwan signs open skies agreement with Australia

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by December 15, 2016 General

By Sun Hsin Hsuan, The China Post
December 16, 2016, 12:10 am TWN

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has signed an open skies agreement with Australia, removing previous restrictions on flights between the two countries.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA, 民航局) under the Transportation and Communications Ministry confirmed that Taiwan had revised its Air Service Annex with Australia on Thursday. The changes remove restrictions on the number of weekly flights between Taiwan and Australia, as well as allowing for open code sharing and intermodal services.

The deal comes as the Tsai administration seeks to strengthen ties with nations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific through the “New Southbound Policy.”

Prior to the signing of the open skies agreement, the number of passengers traveling from Taiwan to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth was restricted to 6,000 passengers per destination per week.

Previously China Airlines (CAL, 中華航空) flew seven flights per week to Sydney, three to Melbourne and five to Brisbane, while EVA Air (長榮航空) operated five flights a week to Brisbane.

The agreement could bring an increase in the number of flights between Taiwan and Australia “very soon,” CAA officials said.

The Australian Office in Taipei posted on social media on Thursday that the agreement was “very timely, as latest figures show tourist numbers from Taiwan to Australia are up an impressive 30 percent. We look forward to welcoming more tourists to Australia!”

CAL Buys Back Tigerair Taiwan

In related news, CAL announced Wednesday that its board had agreed to buy Tigerair Singapore’s (欣豐虎航) 10 percent stake of Tigerair Taiwan (台灣虎航).

The purchase makes CAL the full owner of the local budget airline, which was jointly established by CAL and Tigerair Singapore in 2013.

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