TransAsia to launch Taiwan’s first budget airline
“We have been preparing this for a long time and our goal is to design a budget airline completely catering to the needs and expectations of the Taiwanese people,” said chairman Vincent Lin, after the company secured government approval to set up the so-far unnamed budget subsidiary.
TransAsia, Taiwan’s first private airline, plans initially to lease two to three Airbus A320/A321 planes and hopes to start flying within a year, Lin said.
“We will lease brand-new aircraft for a brand-new airline. We will use the best equipment possible,” he said.
Lin declined to say which routes the airline would serve or what fares it would charge.
The company has launched a contest to name the new airline, with the winner entitled to unlimited free flights for 10 years, Lin said.
TransAsia — which flies to Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam — has been expanding as it benefits from increased revenues from new China routes that have opened up in recent years since relations between Beijing and Taipei improved.
Demands for discount flying has been rising in Asia. Currently 12 foreign budget airlines, including Malaysia-based AirAsia and Japan’s Peach Aviation, offer services to and from Taiwan.
Taiwan’s leading carrier China Airlines has also applied to the authorities to launch a low-cost carrier. The bid is awaiting government approval. – AFP