Tue, Aug 26, 2014 - Page 13 News List

TransAsia offers Penghu plane crash compensation

‘HIGHEST SINCERITY’:The company decided to offer NT$14.9 million to the families of each of the 48 victims of the July 23 disaster but the two sides are still in talks

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

TransAsia Airways Corp president Chooi Yee-choong, standing, talks in Penghu County yesterday with representatives of the families of those killed in the TransAsia Flight GE222 crash.

Photo courtesy of TransAsia Airways Corp

TransAsia Airways Corp (TNA, 復興航空) announced yesterday that it would offer NT$14.9 million (US$496,200) each in compensation to the families of 48 passengers and crew who died in the crash of TransAsia Flight GE222 to Penghu last month.

The amount surpasses the highest compensation paid by a Taiwanese airline of NT$14.2 million per victim, which was paid by China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) to the families of the 225 people who died in the Flight CI611 crash of 2002.

Before the final conclusion of investigations into the cause of the crash are made public, TNA reached the decision at a meeting yesterday with families of the victims of the disaster.

“As an expression of the company’s highest sincerity, the company decided on the compensation payment by taking into consideration related regulations and precedents internationally and domestically,” the carrier said in a statement.

The Aviation Safety Council, which is leading the investigation into the crash, said it would accelerate the pace of the investigation to make it clear what was responsible for the disaster as soon as possible.

The NT$14.9 million per victim includes an out-of-court settlement of NT$13.5 million, as well as a preliminary pension of NT$200,000 and a funeral subsidy of NT$1.2 million the carrier has already paid.

Families of the people killed have not accepted the offer yet. However, if they decide to do so, TNA losses as a result of the crash would amount to NT$715.2 million. The company has also met the medical expenses and offered other compensation to 10 injured passengers and five Penghu residents.

Part of the compensation for the casualties is set to be covered by aviation insurance, with the amount remaining undecided. TNA did not specify if the compensation payment would impact the company’s business and profitability in the future.

TNA officials are to hold talks with each of the families of the victims to finalize the amount of compensation.

The carrier has posted the highest earnings per share (EPS) for the year among the nation’s three listed airlines on the back of lower operating costs and its expansion of international routes over the past year.

TNA, which operates mainly regional and cross-strait routes, earned NT$158.31 million, or NT$0.29 per share, for the first six months of this year, compared with net losses of NT$186.3 million, or NT$0.34 per share, during the same period last year, the company said in a statement.

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