Flights to Taipei are filling up this week as Hong Kong residents head for celebrations marking the inauguration of the island's new president on Saturday. Travel agents and one airline said yesterday the route was proving busy in the days leading up to president-elect Chen Shui-bian's inauguration. His speech on Saturday morning will be followed by a parade through Taipei and a night-time street party with fireworks. Joseph Tung Yao-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council representing most local travel agents, said reservations were up. 'There have been a number of bookings. Group movements to Taiwan have been increasing gradually this past year.' China Airlines, which has 11 flights a day to Taipei, said there were only a few seats left this week on the early morning flight. All other trips were booked out. A spokeswoman said it was not clear whether travellers going to Taiwan for the celebrations were Taiwanese living in Hong Kong, or Hong Kong people, as no record of nationality was taken when bookings were made. Neither China Airlines nor the Kwang Hwa Information and Cultural Centre, Taiwan's de facto embassy in Hong Kong which acts as a travel service, have organised special tours to coincide with the inauguration. Mr Chen will be inaugurated at a ceremony outside the Japanese-style presidential palace to begin at 9am. He will deliver his speech, expected to last about half an hour, from 11am. In the evening, new foreign minister Tien Hung-mao will host a reception for Mr Chen. Cathay Pacific said 'no special change' in booking patterns had been noticed this week.