Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Australian firm wins auction for passenger plane

CNA , TAIPEI

An Australian steel company made the highest bid during the auction of an MD-82 passenger plane by the Taipei District Court yesterday.

Liu Shou-sung (劉壽嵩), administrative assistant to the chief judge, said that this marked the Taiwan court's first successful auctioning of a plane.

He noted that after failing to auction off the plane on three previous occasions, the starting price was greatly reduced to NT$20.15 million (US$620,000). After fierce bidding by four prospective buyers, the Australian steel company made the highest bid at NT$63 million.

A lawyer representing the company posted a NT$4.03 million bond after the auction. The lawyer didn't answer questions on what the company plans to do with the plane.

Liu said that the plane, originally owned by Central Leasing Corp, was auctioned off by the court because of a leasing dispute.

According to information published by the Taipei District Court, the 165-seat plane was manufactured in 1997, has 14,000 flying hours and made 21,000 landings. The plane's engines will require a major overhaul according to manufacturer's recommendations on the number of flying hours logged. It is estimated that the company will have to spend around NT$100 million on repairs and maintenance to return the plane to its original state.

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