In the past, travelers between the two sides have had to transit in Hong Kong or Macau to reach their final destination. But the new flights will save passengers time and money...although they will currently only operate from Fridays to Mondays. The goverment here hopes they will soon become regular daily charter flights.
Around 600 Chinese tourists, plus officials and journalists, will be arriving in Taiwan this weekend. But the small numbers are expected to rapidly increase by the end of the month - as Beijing has promised to allow up to 3,000 of its citizens to travel to Taiwan evwery day.
Currently, nearly 5 million Taiwanese travel to China each year; but Beijing has a tight rein on where its citizens can travel, and the number of Chinese who've travelled to Taiwan is still tiny.
Local businesses in Taiwan predict they'll provide a much-needed economic boost.
The agreements on flights and tourists, signed last month, fulfil an election pledge made by Taiwan’s new Presdient, Ma Ying jeou.
He promised voters to boost the island’s economy – and push for a better, less confrontational relationship with China, which still regards the island as part of its territory.