The mainland People’s Republic of China (PRC) is to trial transfers of international passengers at Taiwanese (ROC) airports.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said it will run a limited initial program that will apply to passengers originating from selected mainland destinations, including Chongqing, Kunming and Nanchang.
The trial will allow passengers to transfer to secondary international schedules at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport for flights to a third country; until now, the lack of jurisdiction recognition between the two countries has made this impossible.
The trial agreement was signed late last year at the first-ever meeting of the two countries’ heads of state—Chinese premier Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou—in Singapore.
The China-based Xinhua news agency reported that residents of the three selected destinations would be allowed to board transit flights in Taiwan with their passports, interline tickets and boarding passes as issued and cleared in mainland China, for a flight to a third country.
A Taiwanese government spokesperson said the trial would “build upon [a] healthy state of affairs” between the two countries, and could see the initial three-city trial extended to further tier-two mainland cities if the scheme proves viable. If it is, the authorities estimate as many as 500,000 mainland Chinese a year could transit to international connections through Taiwan.
Taiwan-based Air China and EVA Air could immediately benefit from the new arrangement feeding mainland tourists into their hub. Both run established international networks out of Taoyuan International to Australasian, North American and Southeast Asian destinations.