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Seoul completes 'Golden Aviation Circle': Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou announced in Taipei yesterday the inauguration of direct flight services between Taipei Songshan Airport and South Korea's Gimpo Airport (金浦機場) in Seoul, which also marks the completion of the “Golden Aviation Circle” in Northeast Asia.

According to Ma, he has always been determined to transform Taipei Songshan Airport into a regional air transport hub, and had maintained that the airport should not be demolished amid heated debates with opponents 10 years ago when he was running for re-election as Taipei mayor.

One of his campaigns in the 2008 presidential election was to establish direct aviation services in the “Golden Aviation Circle,” Ma said. Having established direct services between Taipei and Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport (虹橋機場) and Tokyo's Haneda Airport (羽田機場) in 2010, the final flight route to Seoul completes the Circle.

The seat occupancy rates of Taipei-Hongqiao and Taipei-Haneda flights exceed 80 percent, Ma said at the inauguration ceremony of the Taipei-Seoul flights, voicing expectations for a positive outlook in the South Korea-bound flights and for Taiwan to play a critical role in the Northeast Asia aviation network.

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A China Airlines plane receives a final cleaning prior to departing for South Korea's Gimpo Airport, in Taipei, yesterday morning. The plane was the first-ever passenger plane to fly the direct route from Taipei to South Korea, which was inaugurated yesterday, and marked the completion of President Ma Ying-jeou's “Golden Aviation Circle” campaign promise.

(CNA)

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