Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 2 News List

FAT must pay for Songshan rent by today, CAA says

IN ARREARSFinancially troubled Far Eastern Air Transport began inspecting and maintaining its aircraft at Songshan Airport at the beginning of last month

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) still owes the government about NT$10 million in rent for its maintenance facility at Taipei’s Songshan Airport and must pay the entire amount by today, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said yesterday.

The Taipei District Court granted the financially troubled airline permission to restructure its finances in May. The airline’s new management team is planning to resume flights after repairing its aircraft, which have been grounded for a year. To resume flights, the aircraft must pass the CAA’s safety inspections.

MAINTENANCE

The airline has been conducting aircraft inspections and maintenance at Songshan Airport since early last month.

Wei Sheng-chih (魏勝之), director of the Taipei International Airport Office, said the office is legally required to cut off the water and electricity supply of the maintenance facilities if the airline fails to pay the money today.

“FAT started using the facility last month and has been busy repairing aircraft since then, but we have yet to receive any payment as of Friday,” Wei said.

RENT

The CAA said the rent for the maintenance facility is NT$1.6 million (US$49,000) per month and the airline was supposed to pay three months rent and four months as a deposit before using the facility.

Because the troubled airline wanted to begin repairs to its aircraft as soon as possible, the CAA made an exception and allowed FAT to pay only NT$2 million in advance.

Both the CAA and airline’s management, however, came to an agreement that the rest of the rent should be paid in full before Aug. 1. Since Aug.1 fell on a Saturday, when the CAA offices are closed, the airline must pay the money during office hours today, the CAA said.

FAT representative Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said in June that the airline hoped to resume services in October.

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