troubled Taiwanese carrier Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) is trying to find a large investor to recapitalise its debt-laden business
before the expiry of its court-sanctioned reprieve from creditors.
Taiwanese court on 22 February granted the airline 90 days of protection from creditors, says an FAT spokesman in Taipei
who declines to say how much debt the airline is in. He insists that its assets
still outweigh its debts by about NT$3 billion ($96 million).
Central News Agency says the carrier
reported debts of NT$9.99 billion ($315 million) as of the end of
FAT’s spokesman says that on 22 February the airline sold
its 6% stake in TransAsia
Airways, another Taiwanese carrier. These shares were sold to a trading company
that then on-sold the shares so “we don’t know” who ultimately bought them,
says the spokesman.
also owns 5% of a smaller Taiwanese carrier called Daily Air which operates Dornier 228s, but the spokesman says FAT has no plans to
sell these shares.
also has no plans to sell any aircraft, says the spokesman, adding that its
fleet comprises five Boeing 757 passenger aircraft, one Boeing 757 freighter
and nine Boeing MD-80-series aircraft. According to Flight’s ACAS database FAT owns all the 757
passenger aircraft and nearly half of the MD-80s. The 757 freighter is on lease
spokesman says the carrier plans to solve its financial problem by seeking a
need to find a new investor or investment group within one month,” says the
spokesman, adding that in this year’s second half the airline might also call
on existing shareholders to inject funds into the business.
started operations in 1957 and its current shareholders include Taiwanese
transportation, retail and construction giant Far Eastern Group with 15%,
Malaysian travel agency group Bajia
with nearly 10%, Taiwan’s
China Airlines with around 6%, China Development Industrial Bank with 8%, and
China Development Financial Holding with 8%.
Bajia bought its stake about two
years ago from US insurance and investment giant AIG, he adds.
in the past couple of years has faced increased competition in the Taiwanese
domestic market from high-speed trains.