Mon, Jan 31, 2011 - Page 2 News List

FAT could provide flights to Kinmen for the holiday

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) could start providing charter flight services for the Lunar New Year holiday this week after the Ministry of Transportation and Communications agreed on Saturday that the airline could help transport travelers to Kinmen, if there is excessive passenger demand.

The airline’s operations were suspended in 2008 because of the poor state of its finances. In 2009, the company secured approval from the Taipei District Court to restructure its finances.

Earlier this month, two of FAT’s aircraft passed safety certification by the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the ministry approved FAT’s plan to resume operations, provided it meet a number of requirements.

Civil Aeronautics Administration Director-General Yin Chen-pong (尹承蓬) said FAT was in a position to provide flights, adding that the Kinmen County Government had said it might need FAT to provide charter flights to transport residents of Kinmen from Taiwan proper during peak air traffic hours.

“If it can complete all the administrative procedures by [today], maybe it will have a chance to apply to offer charter flights [from tomorrow],” Yin said,

The administration estimates that charter flights by FAT would be available on Lunar New Year’s Eve — Wednesday — when the majority of people will be eager to go home for family reunions.

The administration required the company to have at least NT$1.34 billion (US$46.13 million) in cash or bank guarantees before it could fully resume operations.

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