Today in Transportation History – 2005: A Thaw Was In The Air

Nonstop flights took place between mainland China and Taiwan. These were the first such flights between the nations since 1949 when Communists gained control of the mainland and established the People’s Republic of China (PRC) while the government of the Republic of China retreated to Taiwan.

The first flights to take to the skies for this resumption of air service included Air China charter flight CA1087, which departed Beijing Capital Airport for Taiwan’s capital of Taipei at eight o’clock on that Saturday morning with 88 passengers on board.  China Southern Airlines charter flight CZ3097, carrying 242 passengers, flew out of the airport in PRC’s city of Guangzhou for Taipei at around the same time. “We will break the 56-year-long isolation between civil aviation sectors across the [Taiwan Strait] in only 100 minutes,” Hao Jianhua, chief pilot of this flight, predicted during an interview with the Xinhua News Agency. He and his crew ended up taking even less time, landing at Taipei at 9:27 a.m.

Starting out on the other side of the strait, Taiwan-based China Airlines charter flight CI581 transported more than 200 passengers to Beijing Capital Airport after a flight of nearly four hours. Passengers arriving in both mainland China and Taiwan on board these historic flights were greeted not only by public officials but also traditional Chinese performers such as dragon dancers in bright costumes and musicians playing gongs and drums.

For more information on these 2005 flights between mainland China and Taiwan, please check out and

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