China Airlines has disclosed that it is preparing to list its low-cost subsidiary Tigerair Taiwan.
In a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, the flag carrier says that with the board’s approval, Tigerair Taiwan will “start planning to be a listed company”.
“The IPO planning for Tigerair Taiwan aims to improve its future business performance and development such as to boost investment, to strengthen the financial autonomy and to increase the value of stock,” say China Airlines.
It adds that under its management, Tigerair Taiwan has been a “well-established” low-cost carrier with “sound capital structure and financial stability”.
China Airlines took full control of Tigerair Taiwan in December 2016. In 2017, China Airlines chairman Ho Nuan-Hsuan told FlightGlobal that Tigerair Taiwan had taken over the charter business of China Airlines, diverging from its pure low-cost model.
With the changes, Tigerair Taiwan turned a profit of close to NT$300 million ($9.7 million) for the first six month of 2017 – a sharp change from the NT$1.5 billion losses accumulated since launching operations in 2014.
The LCC used to be a 90:10 joint venture between China Airlines and Tigerair, but the Taiwanese carrier purchased the remaining 10% stake following disagreements on how the carrier should be run, and unhappiness that Singapore-based Tigerair needed to approve all major business decisions despite its small stake.
FlightGlobal schedules data shows that Tigerair Taiwan’s network focuses on services to Japan, and to destinations in South Korea, China, the Philippines and Thailand. It operates a fleet of 11 Airbus A320s.