Tue, Mar 19, 2019 - Page 11 News List

UNI Air to add domestic flights

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

UNI Air (立榮航空), a subsidiary of Evergreen Group (長榮集團), said it is planning additional domestic flights from Taiwan to outlying islands in an attempt to boost profits this year.

Rival Tigerair Taiwan Ltd (台灣虎航) plans to expand its fleet in preparation for an initial public offering, but UNI Air’s fleet would remain unchanged at 15 aircraft, the carrier said.

“However, we will adjust our flight schedules and add domestic flights this year, hoping to boost our passenger numbers,” UNI chairman Solomon Lin (林志忠) told the Taipei Times last week.

UNI plans to add two or more flights per week between Taiwan and Penghu or Kinmen to take advantage of potential tourism, executive vice president Joie Liu (劉同義) said by telephone yesterday.

UNI uses ATR 72-600 aircraft — which economize fuel and have seating for 68 passengers — on the routes to outlying islands, Liu said, adding that the flights are often sold out in the peak season.

The carrier’s average passenger load factor, a gauge for showing passenger capacity, reached about 80 percent last year, and is forecast to hit 90 percent this year after the flight schedule adjustment, he said.

The carrier’s revenue increased 3.76 percent to NT$9.38 billion (US$304.23 million) last year, from NT$9.04 billion a year earlier, despite a setback in the October-to-December quarter, company data showed.

“Tourists were less interested in traveling to outlying islands in the winter,” Liu said.

UNI has not revealed its earnings for last year. Pretax profit for the first half of last year fell 11.65 percent year-on-year to NT$508.26 million, dragged down by a rise in oil prices, the company said.

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