TransAsia Airways Grounded

Rumors that began this morning saying that TransAsia Airways would suspend flights have been confirmed by Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Authority this afternoon.

The embattled Taiwan-based airline failed to regain consumer confidence after two crashes in succession rattled the nerves of passengers and aircrew.

TransAsia Airways denied the rumors this morning, and refused to comment further on the issue. Ticket ordering systems at the airport, and on the company’s website went offline at around 1:00pm. The website currently says the ordering system is down for maintenance.

At 3:00pm Fang Zhiwen, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Authority, confirmed that all of TransAsia’s domestic and international flights would be suspended for one day, tomorrow. Fang told reporters the issue was financial and operational. He said the CAA will work with other airlines to help stranded TransAsia Airways passengers get to their destinations. Fang couldn’t say if the suspension will continue after tomorrow.

According to a United Daily News report, after the announcement, insiders in the company told reporters that the airline is bankrupt, that some of the routes will be taken over by Mandarin Airlines. The sources said there are rumors that the Fubon Group will take over and revive the airline.

The first three quarters of this year saw losses of NTD$2.2 billion, more than double the NTD$1.1 billion loss posted for the whole of the previous year.

financials of TransAsia Airways
A graph shows the recent fortunes of TransAsia Airways. Screen-shot from Financial Times website.

TransAsia said they will release a press release at 6:30pm today, but will not be holding a press conference.

On July 23, 2014, Flight 222, from Kaohsiung to Magong, crashed near Magong Airport on Penghu Island, killing forty-eight. Six months later, February 4, 2015, Flight 235, crashed into the Keelung River near Taipei, killing 43 of the 53 passengers and 5 crew.

Last month, October 1, V Air, an LCC subsidiary of TransAsia Airlines ceased operations.

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