Starting Dec. 1, China Airlines (CAL) will take over two domestic routes that were operated by TransAsia Airways, which has shut down, Fan Chih-ku (范植谷), deputy minister of Transportation and Communications, said Wednesday.
CAL will now fly the Taipei-Hualien and Taichung-Hualien routes that were operated exclusively by TransAsia, a domestic airline that suddenly announced its closure Tuesday, according to Fan.
Meanwhile, he said, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) will allocate TransAsia’s international and cross-Taiwan Strait routes to other carriers, in accordance with a decision reached earlier in the day at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired Premier Lin Chuan (林全).
TransAsia announced Tuesday that all its flights would be terminated with immediate effect, after an extraordinary board meeting passed a resolution to dissolve the company because of its deteriorating financial situation.
After TransAsia’s announcement, UNI Airways said Wednesday it will increase its flights between Taipei and Magong in Penghu for three days with effect from Nov. 25.
TransAsia was one of the main carriers serving Penghu and its closure is expected to affect air travel to and from the offshore county.
UNI Airways currently operates 19 flights per day from Taipei, Kaohsiung, Chiayi, Taichung and Tainan to Magong.
The Penghu and Kinmen county governments have urged the CAA to help coordinate with the remaining three domestic airlines to fill the gap left by TransAsia.
In addition to its domestic routes, TransAsia also flew to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Cambodia and 13 destinations in China.
Meanwhile, TransAsia will lay off or retire all of its employees following its decision to dissolve the company, the CAA said Wednesday.
It said China Airlines and EVA Air are interested in recruiting TransAsia pilots and will attend a recruitment orientation, which will be hosted by the CAA on Thursday.
TransAsia currently has over 170 pilots, including 90 who are still in training, according to CAA statistics.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is also chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said during a DPP Central Standing Committee meeting Wednesday that all issues related to TransAsia’s dissolution should be handled as quickly as possible and that the interests of all the people concerned should be served.
She gave the directive after a briefing by Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) on the handling of the TransAsia dissolution crisis.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel