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Hau takes first CAL direct flight to Shanghai

Hau takes first CAL direct flight to ShanghaiThe first direct flight between Taipei's Songshan Airport to Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport took off yesterday morning after China Airlines Chairman Philip Wei handed Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin a supersized boarding pass to mark the historical moment.
"The direct flight between Songshan and Hongqiao is positive in terms of trade, tourism, and cultural exchanges," said Hau at Songshan Airport before he and legislators, city council members, and press boarded China Airlines CI 201 flight bound for Shanghai to promote the Taipei Culture Week in the ongoing World Expo.

"Now Taipei citizens can take the direct flight to Shanghai, visit the Expo, have dinner in downtown Shanghai, and fly back to Taipei in the evening," he added after the plane arrived 90 minutes later in Hongqiao, "our plan to build a one day living circle has achieved."

"I welcome Shanghai citizens to visit Taipei, especially for the coming Flora Expo in November."

The decision to offer direct flights between Songshan and Hongqiao was reached in May, a month after Shanghai Mayor Han Zhaeng visited Taipei.

"In terms of the number of Taiwanese people living here, Shanghai is one of the most populated cities in China," said Shen Jun, deputy mayor of Shanghai City when he welcomed Hau upon arrival.

"The Taipei Culture Week brings a diverse cultural feast to Shanghai citizens. I wish Hau's team success," he added.

China Airlines has six Boeing 737-800 aircrafts serving the Shanghai-Hongqiao line daily except Friday.

Hongqiao is Shanghai's inner city airport, and the commute to the center of Shanghai is 40 minutes less than that from the city's Pudong International Airport.

In the near future, Songshan Airport will offer flights to Tokyo and Seoul, in addition to Shanghai.