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.”
Photo: Cheng Wei-chi, Taipei Times
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.
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
‘A RICH STORY’: People need to visit Taichung to experience real gourmet food, the transportation minister said, as 21 restaurants there made it to the Bib Gourmand list Seventy-five restaurants and street vendors in Taipei and Taichung made the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list this year, including 47 that were listed last year, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. Insepctors from the Michelin Guide started rating restaurants and street vendor food in the nation’s capital in 2018. For the third edition this year, inspectors would evaluate the gourmet scenes in Taipei and, for the first time, Taichung. Before revealing the list of Michelin-starred restaurants, the guide first discloses its Bib Gourmand list, which contains restaurateurs and food vendors that serve high-quality three-course meals at a total cost of NT$1,000
POLICY PROPOSAL: Shorter quarantines with stricter test requirements would help keep the number of undetected asymptomatic cases low, preventing flare-ups of COVID-19 National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) yesterday said a classification for foreign countries based on COVID-19 infection risk should be introduced, and the mandatory 14-day quarantine shortened to five days with two mandatory tests for travelers from high-risk countries. New imported cases and foreign nationals testing positive after returning home from Taiwan has sparked public debate on whether the government should expand COVID-19 testing to all inbound travelers to better detect asymptomatic cases locally, he said. Taiwan has so far done a good job detecting most COVID-19 cases at its border, due to strict border