Tuesday, April 21, 2009

new cheap flights to Italy

Taiwan's One extra airline and the airports of Kaohsiung and Milan were likely to be added to flights between Taiwan and Italy after changes to an aviation agreement, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said Tuesday.

China Airlines, Taiwan’s largest carrier, has been operating three flights week between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the Italian capital Rome since July 1995, the CAA said.

On April 6, both sides agreed to add Kao hsiung International Airport and Milan, Italy’s financial capital, while also allowing a second airline to ply the routes, CAA Director-General Lee Long-wen announced Tuesday.

CAL would also be allowed to increase its weekly passenger flights to Rome to seven, while cargo flights would increase to three from the present two a week, Lee said.

It was not known yet which airline would be added to the routes, but both CAL and EVA Airways expressed interest in submitting flight operation plans for the new services, according to Lee.

No Italian airline is plying the routes, though the national airline Alitalia has a code-sharing agreement with CAL. Current flights between the two countries include a stopover in Bangkok, Thailand, a route which could be followed by the new flights as well, Lee said.

While Italy is a popular tourist and business destination for Taiwanese citizens, the island is currently mainly preoccupied with expanding its aviation links with neighboring China.

Direct charter flights on weekends were introduced last July and expanded to the full week after agreements in November. This coming Sunday, Taiwan and China are expected to sign accords allowing for the introduction of regular flights.