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Ailine opens Zhangjiajie-Taiwan direct route


TAIPEI - China Southern Airlines has opened a direct air route linking the mainland's Zhangjiajie and Taiwan's Taipei, according to a meeting held here to celebrate the opening of the direct flight on Tuesday.

Starting from April 15, on Monday, Tuesday and Friday each week, the three-hour flight will take off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:35 am and arrive at Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport.

The return flight will depart from Zhangjiajie at 3:50 pm.

At the meeting, Vice Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party Lin Feng-cheng said the direct route has shortened the "distance" between Taiwan and Zhangjiajie and is conducive to attracting more tourists to Zhangjiajie.

Lin Chung-seng, president of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), said the direct route will provide greater conveniences for both sides in many fields, including tourism, finance and investment.

In June, Taiwan's Trans-Asia Airways will open direct routes linking Taipei and Zhangjiajie, with flights each Monday, Thursday and Sunday, according to the meeting.

Zhangjiajie, located in central Hunan province, is classified by UNESCO as a World Geopark and a World Heritage Site. In 2012, it received more than 35 million tourists from home and abroad, including 150,000 people from Taiwan.

A total of 28 Taiwan-based enterprises have invested about $200 million in Zhangjiajie and developed their businesses there.