Fri, Jan 24, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Airline staff turn to ministry for help

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Far Eastern Air Transport deputy manager Lu Chi-rong, center, yesterday leads company employees to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei to submit a petition.

Photo: Cheng Wei-chi, Taipei Times

Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) employees yesterday petitioned the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to give the airline a second opportunity and assist it in resuming flight services.

Led by FAT deputy manager Lu Chi-rong (盧紀融), about a dozen employees turned in a written petition with 580 staff signatures to the ministry and the Executive Yuan.

“The company has found a quality investor. Employees would get their salaries so long as the government assists the airline in resuming flight services,” Lu said. “We are asking the government to give the airline a chance, and give employees a way to work and survive.”

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said the airline has suspended its flight services for more than 40 days, and the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法) requires that it must first pass a five-stage review from the Civil Aeronautics Administration before it can resume operations.

This procedure is the only way that the airline could restart flight services, regardless of whether the ministry decides to revoke its air operator certificate, he said.

“The investor should be more interested in knowing if FAT’s employees and aircraft are sound enough to ensure flight safety,” Wang added.

FAT chairman Chang Kang-wei (張綱維) on Dec. 13 told a news conference that it was the airline’s management who misunderstood the situation and made the decision to suspend flight services, adding that it was applying to resume services.

On Wednesday, he said that the company could only secure new funding if the ministry allows the airline to resume flight services.

However, the ministry said that Chang has failed five times to keep his promise of securing new funding for the company.

The airline’s employees have yet to receive their salaries for last month, Lu said, adding that most of them are hoping that the government would help them.

More than half of the employees have signed the petition, she added.

In the petition, employees said that they still go to work every day, even though flight services has been suspended since Dec. 13, because they need their job to support their families.

“Some of us are senior employees who have dedicated their whole life to the company,” the statement said. “We understand that the company is having financial difficulties at the moment, but all of us, including our families, would lose our financial support if the ministry continues to prohibit the airline from resuming flight services,” the statement read.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top