TransAsia demand soars

FLYING HIGH::The introduction of new routes has seen such high passenger demand, especially for flights to Japan, that the company is considering chartering planes

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - Page 14

TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空), a Taiwanese carrier focusing on regional passenger routes, is considering chartering planes to deal with the rising demand under its route expansion plan, a company official said yesterday.

The carrier also aims at returning to the black in the second half of this year, citing strong seasonal momentum in the third quarter.

“The company is thinking of chartering aircraft,” TransAsia president Chooi Yee-choong (徐以聰) told reporters after the carrier held a joint press conference with Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行) to present news about upgrading their co-branded credit card.

The carrier has seen passenger capacity for its Japanese routes nearly double after introducing two Airbus SAS 330-300 aircraft more than six months ago, Chooi said.

However, utilization of the two planes has reached about 14 hours per day, after the carrier launched various new intra-Asian routes in the first half of this year, he added.

Chooi said the carrier is scheduled to launch a regular route between Taipei and Tokyo in September, after starting a regular service to Chiang Mai in Thailand and Palau earlier this month.

TransAsia chairman Vincent Lin (林明昇) said strong seasonal demand during the summer vacation this month and next month is expected to raise the passenger load, further boosting the company’s business.

The routes to Japan showed the strongest momentum, while the passenger load on cross-strait routes are recovering from the H7N9 avian influenza scare earlier this year, Lin added.

TransAsia posted NT$1.03 billion (US$34.24 million) in sales last month, up 26.51 percent from a year earlier and 10.88 percent higher than the previous month, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

In the first six months, consolidated revenue totaled NT$5.75 billion, up 20.31 percent from a year earlier, on the back of the carrier’s route expansion strategy, company data showed.

China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s two largest airlines, also saw consolidated sales last month rebound from a month earlier, mainly due to stronger passenger business.

CAL reported NT$11.69 billion in consolidated sales last month, up 5.7 percent from a month earlier, but down 3.01 percent from a year earlier, according to its stock exchange filing.

The carrier saw its revenue in the first half of the year drop 2.41 percent from a year earlier to NT$67.22 billion, statistics showed.

EVA Airways’ consolidated revenue stood at NT$10.77 billion last month, up 8.35 percent from a month ago and 3.52 percent from a year ago, which boosted its sales in the first half of this year to NT$59.38 billion.

This represents an increase of 1.14 percent from the previous year, the carrier’s stock exchange filing showed.