January 19, 2018 / 7:51 AM / 3 months ago

Taiwan stymies new China flights amid route row-official

TAIPEI, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s aviation regulator has not approved applications from China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines to increase flights during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, an official with the regulator told Reuters.

The official, who asked not to be named, said that Taiwan had not yet approved the flights because the airlines had recently used four disputed air routes that are close to Taiwan.

China Eastern Airlines had applied to add 106 flights while Xiamen Airlines, which is majority owned by China Southern Airlines, had applied for 70 more, the official said.

China earlier this month opened several disputed air routes, including a northbound M503 route in the Taiwan Strait, without informing Taiwan, contravening what the democratic government in Taipei said is a 2015 deal to first discuss such flight paths. (Reporting by Jeanny Kao in TAIPEI; Writing by Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI; Editing by SImon Cameron-Moore)

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