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Taiwan's TransAsia to add new aircraft

Taiwanese carrier TransAsia Airways plans to add more aircraft now that Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has decided exactly how many flights each of the Taiwanese carriers will get to operate under the new air services agreement.

"We are going to buy new aircraft according to our chairman [Charles Chan's] answer to the Taiwanese press," a TransAsia spokeswoman says in an email to ATI. TransAsia currently operates Airbus and ATR aircraft.

She says: "We have received many prospecting calls from leasing companies and aircraft companies."

The leasing community's heightened interest in Taiwan came after the CAAannounced exactly how many scheduled flights each Taiwanese carrier will be allowed to operate to China each week.

In April of this year China and Taiwan signed an expanded air services agreement that included, for the first time, scheduled flights.

The agreement takes effect in late June but the Taiwanese plan to start the scheduled passenger services on 6 July.

China Airlines and EVA Air each get to operate 30 scheduled flights per week to China, Mandarin Airlines and Uni Air each get to operate 25, TransAsia 24 and there is also one more weekly flight that Uni Air and Mandarin get to operate alternately every three months, says the CAA.

This flight has to be on the Taichung-Shenzhen route, it adds.

It also says of the 110 weekly scheduled flights to mainland China that Taiwan has, Shanghai will be the most popular destination among the Taiwanese carriers with 28 weekly flights altogether. Taiwanese represent the biggest expat community in Shanghai.

Under the expanded air services agreement, China and Taiwan are each permitted to have 135 passenger flights per week, a mix of charter and scheduled flights.

There are also 28 weekly cargo flights permitted and these are to be split between Chinese and Taiwanese carriers.

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