TransAsia Airways Corp (TNA, 復興航空), one of the nation’s listed carriers which operates mainly intra-regional routes in Asia, is scheduled to start cutting flights from its Taipei to Singapore service from late next month.
The carrier is also set to withdraw the route temporarily from the middle of October, with no date for relaunching services yet confirmed.
“The company made the decision in accordance with operating considerations,” a TNA spokesperson told the Taipei Times by telephone yesterday.
The company did not specify if it made the decision because of a lower-than-expected passenger load or tougher competition on the route after several low-cost carriers recently entered in the market.
The move represents the first time the carrier has cut flights between Taipei and Singapore since it launched the service in June 2011, offering one flight per day.
However, the airline did not rule out the possibility of relaunching flights during the year-end peak season for the passenger sector.
The carrier said average passenger load on its Taipei-Singapore route has stood at about 70 percent since its launch.
Following the cuts to the service, TNA is planning to focus on its Japanese routes.
The carrier is set to offer flights between Taipei and Tokyo from Sep. 26, its ninth Japanese destination following the countries inking an “open skies” agreement.
SinoPac Securities Investment Service (永豐投顧) said the carrier’s rebound in cross-strait passenger load from June, which rose to nearly 70 percent, may help TNA post smaller losses in the second quarter from the first quarter.
Furthermore, an improving passenger take-up on its Japanese routes this quarter, which averaged about 90 percent, may help the carrier raise its gross margin and boost profitability in the period from last month to September, Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said in its latest research report.
TNA reported net losses of NT$129.46 million (US$4.32 million), or NT$0.23 per share, in the first quarter of the year, compared with a net profit of NT$5.77 million recorded a year earlier, a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed.