CAL to recruit TransAsia pilots

China Airlines (CAL, 華航), one of Taiwan’s leading international carriers, said Thursday that it will partner with its subsidiaries to hire some of the TransAsia Airways pilots who have lost their jobs due to the airline’s closure.

CAL said two of its subsidiaries, Mandarin Airlines and the budget carrier Tigerair Taiwan, will give a joint briefing on their recruitment plans Friday at TransAsia’s headquarters in Taipei.

In a surprise announcement Tuesday, TransAsia said it was closing its operations due to massive losses amid escalating competition in the global airline business.

The closure has left 153 TransAsia pilots without jobs but some of them are likely to be hired by CAL since there is shortage of pilots in the aviation industry, according to analysts.

CAL’s regulations, however, require pilots to have at least 1,500 flying hours in order to gain a job.

Mandarin Airlines President Roger Han (韓梁中) said his airline is willing to help the TransAsia pilots land new jobs once they meet CAL’s requirements.

Also on Thursday, EVA Airways gave a recruitment briefing at the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), which was attended by 85 pilots, half of whom were from TransAsia.

Among TransAsia 153 pilots, 92 flew the twin-engine A320 jetliners, while 61 flew turboprop ATRs.

TransAsia’s closure has left about 1,800 workers unemployed. A meeting between the management and employees of TransAsia Airways to address the abrupt closure of the airline broke down 30 minutes after it started on Wednesday, and another meeting on Thursday yielded no resolutions.

The TransAsia workers union said it was considering protest action to force the management to meet its demands. TransAsia’s management has shown a “complete lack of sincerity,” the union said.

Meanwhile, the Executive Yuan has asked CAL to temporarily take over all of TransAsia’s domestic and overseas routes, with effect from Dec. 1, to protect consumers’ interest.

For the first nine months of the year, TransAsia posted a net loss of NT$2.22 billion, a loss per share of NT$3.42 and a gross margin of minus 18.76 percent.

The airline’s total debt is estimated at NT$11 billion, with about NT$1.7 billion owed to its largest creditor Mega International Commercial Bank.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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