Wed, May 01, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Airline could face partial, full suspension of services

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Far Eastern Air Transport could face a partial or complete suspension of its flight services if it fails to improve its operations within a designated period of time, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said yesterday.

The nation’ aviation authority sent an official warning to the domestic carrier on Monday evening after several lawmakers at the legislature’s Transportation Committee questioned the safety of the airline.

According to the agency, the airline reported that one of its aircraft experienced an in-flight shutdown on a flight from Taipei to Kinmen on April 13, which the airline said was caused by a bird strike.

An in-flight shutdown means that the aircraft’s engine shuts down when the aircraft is in the air. The incident can occur if an aircraft’s engine malfunctions, or it could be initiated by the flight crew for safety reasons.

On April 16, another Taipei-Kinmen flight was delayed for more than two hours after a signaling system abnormality was detected on the aircraft’s dashboard.

On Thursday last week, the airline was accused of continuing to offer flights from Kaohsiung to Guiyang City in China, despite a large crack in the windshield of the cockpit caused by a hailstone.

Although the airline had informed the CAA about these incidents, the agency said it had yet to see the airline adopt higher standards to address safety issues.

In addition to two senior flight safety inspectors, the agency decided to dispatch two other inspectors to the company to ensure that it follows all aspects of the aviation safety protocol laid out by the government.

Founded in 1957, the airline initially offered both domestic and international flight services. However, after a series of financial crises in 2008, the airline suspended flights for three years and only restarted services in 2011.

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