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  Friday, November 15, 2019
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Transaero Airlines has launched a landmark direct chartered flight between Taipei and Moscow
Russia's Transaero Airlines has launched a landmark direct chartered flight between Taipei and Moscow to meet growing tourism demand, a tourist company official said Monday. A Transaero aircraft flew into Taiwan's Chiang Kai-shek airport over the weekend and will leave on the return flight Monday with 180 passengers, said Taiwan Orchid Express, the company which organized the charter. "The flight has been fully booked. This is a good omen for future flights," Webby Yang, an official with Taiwan Orchid Express, told AFP. The airline will provide one flight every two weeks in the January 19-March 15 period, with an additional flight to meet demand during the Lunar New Year festival. The direct charter cuts the flight time to about 11 hours from the 20 hours Taiwan tourists would normally face if they transit via a European hub. The Russian airline signed an agreement with Taiwan flag carrier China Airlines (CAL) in October 2002 envisioning a regular Moscow-Taipei link but the start of the service early last year was put off due to the SARS outbreak. CAL is now not expected to offer a link with Moscow in the immediate future. Some 10,000 Taiwan businessmen and tourists travel to Russia each year, a tourism official estimated. Negotiations on the signing of an aviation agreement between Taiwan and Russia have got bogged down in tax problems and have now dragged on for 10 years. Beijing opposes any countries forging official aviation pacts with Taiwan which it regards as part of its territory following the end of the 1949 Chinese civial war between the communists and Nationalists, who fled to the island.
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