Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - Page 13 News List

TransAsia targeting 30% annual growth

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

TransAsia Airways Corp (TNA, 復興航空) is targeting 30 percent annual growth for its passenger capacity this year, primarily driven by the launch of its low-cost carrier brand V Air (威航) in the second half of this year.

The airline, which focuses on regional passenger routes in Asia, also expects its consolidated revenue to grow by about 30 percent year-on-year this year.

TransAsia expanded its revenue by 20 percent last year to NT$12.13 billion (US$400 million) from NT$10.03 billion in 2012.

“This year remains a year of expansion for the company,” TransAsia president Chooi Yee-choong (徐以聰) told a press briefing yesterday.

Chooi said growth in the carrier’s passenger capacity this year would reach at least 30 percent, compared with 40 percent growth last year.

The airline is scheduled to launch its budget carrier, V Air, in September at the earliest, eyeing nations with open-skies agreements with Taiwan, as well as destinations with adequate market size for both full-service and low-cost airlines, such as Japan’s Tokyo and Osaka, and Thailand’s Bangkok.

Following the launch of V Air, TransAsia plans to focus on expanding its flight services to second-tier cities in Japan, such as Fukuoka, Nagoya and Ibaraki, Chooi said.

V Air plans to recruit 80 flight attendants in preparation for its inauguration.

On March 30, TransAsia plans to increase the frequency of its flights between Taipei and Osaka to two per day, from one per day.

The carrier may also increase the frequency of its flights from Taipei to Tokyo in the second half of this year, while pursuing new destinations and more flights to China following a new round of negotiations with the Chinese government.

With the significant expansion in passenger capacity, Chooi expects TransAsia’s consolidated revenue to show similar growth to last year.

For the whole of last year, the carrier’s revenue hit a record level of NT$12.13 billion, up 20.88 percent from 2012, a company statement said.

TransAsia took delivery of its first new ATR 72-600 earlier this week. The turboprop aircraft is the first of 12 ATR 72-600 planes ordered by the carrier as part of its fleet renewal and growth program.

The turboprop aircraft flew from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) to Magong Airport in Penghu County (澎湖) yesterday.

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