Sun, Jan 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

CAA approves the resumption of Far Eastern Air flights

FINANCIAL WOES:The airline was suspended in 2008 amid wage disputes and financial difficulties. It will be under observation as it restarts operations

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has approved an application by Far Eastern Air Transport Corp to resume services after more than two years of suspension because of financial troubles, the CAA said yesterday.

CAA Director-General Yin Chen-pong (尹承蓬) confirmed the approval of the application, saying it was likely that the carrier would return to the market during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on Feb. 2.

The carrier has submitted a financial plan with the CAA in a bid to win approval to fly again. The CAA will be watching closely how the company carries out its financial plan after it restarts its business.

According to the CAA, while the application for business resumption has been approved, the agency will conduct further inspections on the carrier’s preparations for restarting services before allowing ticket sales.

The inspections, which are scheduled to start next week, will include screening ticket prices, examinations of inflight equipment and aircraft take-off and landing, and a review of the operations of the carrier’s check-in counters.

Two of the airline’s three MD83 planes have undergone a test flight program, but the two aircraft are not allowed to carry passengers.

Yin suggested Far Eastern Air seek approval first to provide charter flight services during the Lunar New Year holidays if the carrier needs more time to prepare for the resumption of regular flights.

The carrier said it would file an application to fly between Taipei and the Kinmen during the six-day holiday period, which is peak season for the air transportation sector.

Far Eastern Air’s flight operations were suspended in May 2008 amid financial difficulties and wage disputes.

The airline reportedly had debts of more than NT$10 billion (US$340.5 million) when it requested bankruptcy protection in February 2008 in the biggest crisis it had encountered since it was set up in 1957.

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