Thu, Dec 25, 2014 - Page 13 News List

TransAsia Airways announces plan to purchase four new aircraft from Airbus

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

TransAsia Airways Corp (TNA, 復興航空), which focuses on flying regional passenger routes, yesterday announced a US$480 million plan to purchase four A330-800neo aircraft from Airbus SAS, which is the carrier’s first step to entering the long-haul passenger service.

The move would also help the company shift its business away from its budget airline subsidiary, V Air (威航).

The carrier is scheduled to take delivery of its first of four A330-800neo aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2018 at the earliest. After receiving the four planes, TNA has an option to purchase another four.

“The new planes will support the company’s plan to launch intercontinental routes in the long-term,” TNA chairman Vincent Lin (林明昇) told a press conference.

Data offered by Airbus showed the A330-800neo aircraft offers 14 percent fuel savings compared with its same-sized peers, with the 251-seat plane capable of providing flights of up to 15 hours in duration.

Targeting the nation’s outbound market to the US, TNA has filed an application with the US government and it expects to launch a chartered flight service to Tinian — an island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — and Guam from the second half of next year, Lin said.

TNA plans to lease two A330-300 aircraft next year to cope with the route expansion to the US and other destinations in Asia, Lin said. TNA is set to operate 24 planes next year after the two leased planes join the fleet.

The company yesterday announced it had hired former EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) president Peter Chen (陳欣德) as TNA’s chief executive officer.

Chen would be in charge of drawing a blueprint for the company’s future development, as well as for all of its subsidiaries, it said.

By integrating TNA and its subsidiaries, including V Air, TransAsia Catering Services Ltd (復興空廚) and Legend Travel Service Ltd (龍騰旅行社), Lin said the company is targeting an annual growth of 15 percent in consolidated sales and unspecified growth in net profits over the next few years.

Despite TNA’s decision to pay compensation to people affected by July’s crash in Penghu County by the end of this year, Lin remained bullish over the company’s business prospects next year.

Outperfomring its local rivals, TNA’s net income totaled NT$292.34 million (US$9.19 million), or NT$0.53 per share, in the first three quarters of the year, reversing a loss of NT$80.63 million in the same period last year, company statistics showed.

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