Airlines resume flights to Taiwan after more than 20 years. Many Airlines suspended flights to Taiwan following a threat from main land China back in early 1990s, warned loss of landing rights to China if they provide services to Taiwan. The China refused to recognise Taiwan as a seperate county and the policy back then was that the People’s Republic of China alone has the right to negotiate aircraft landing rights for all of China, including Taiwan.
There were no direct flights between to China and Taiwan up until 2008 and people travelled via Hong Kong or Macau.
Some Airlines created new subsidiary airlines solely to service Taiwan. Qantas established Australia Asia Airlines in 1990 for a brief period before being completely privatized, British Airways established British Asia Airways, Japan Airlines created Japan Asia Airlines, All Nippon Airways created Air Japan and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines created KLM Asia Airlines to fly to Taiwan, some via Hong Kong. Many of these Airlines do exist anymore. To this date, KLM Asia and Turkish Airlines are only two European airlines to fly to Taiwan. Canada and Australia with some other countries opted to bow down to China and suspended all flights.
Today, airlines are able to resume flights to Taiwan due to better relations between Taiwan and China. Air Canada was the first to resume flights to Taiwan in June 2017 flying directly from Vancouver to Taiwan. Air France has scheduled to resume flights in April this year and Air New Zealand set to begin flights between Auckland and Taiwan in November 2018.
To this day, no armistice or peace treaty was ever signed between Taiwan and China, and the debate continues as to whether Taiwan should maintain the current status quo or become unified with mainland China or declare independence. Qantas received public criticism for amending its website to no longer refer to Taiwan as a country, rather than a Chinese territory, after China issued a warning to foreign airlines last week.
The international airlines are caught in between the domestic political dispute between China and Taiwan.