Far Eastern Air Transport Resumes Operations

Taiwanese airline Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) has returned to the air after an almost three year grounding due to financial problems.  The restructured carrier received its new operating licence from the local Civil Aviation Authority earlier this month and launched twice daily flights between Taipei Sung Shan and the outlaying island of Kinmen on April 18.  This route is also served by Mandarin Airlines, Trans Asia Airways and UNI Airways.

MARKET ANALYSIS: TAIPEI SUNG SHAN – KINMEN (weekly non-stop flights)

Rank

Airline

Weekly Flights

Weekly Seats

1

UNI Airways

45

7,020

2

Mandarin Airlines

39

4,056

3

Trans Asia Airways

49

3,528

4

Far Eastern Air Transport

14

2,170

TOTAL

147

16,774

 
An estimated 1.0 million O&D passengers travelled on the route in the past year and UNI Airways’ use of McDonnell Douglas MD-90s on its flights - compared with the regional jets of Manadrin Airlines and turboprops of Trans Asia Airways - has meant it has secured a 45.6 per cent share of this traffic.  Mandarin Airlines follows with a 28.7 per cent share and Trans Asia with 25.4 per cent. 

Far Eastern Air Transport will hope to establish itself once more as an alternative option for Taiwanese travellers.  In the year up until its closure in May 2008, it had secured an 8.0 per cent share of the Taiwanese domestic and international market carrying an estimated 2.48 million O&D passengers.  Its main two routes by demand were its international flights from Taipei Taoyuan - then better known as Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport - to Jeju in South Korea and Shanghai Pu Dong in China, the latter with average one-way fares of over $470, making it its highest yielding route.  Large passenger volumes were also carried on domestic flights from Taipei Sung Shan to Kaohsiung, Kinmen and Taitung, although fares only averaged $70 to $85 each way. 

The airline has already made an application to resume overseas flights, initially to Siem Reap in Cambadia, the popular tourist gateway to the renowned Angkor Wat temple complex.  Further domestic expansion is also likely with Makung City in the offshore county of Penghu and the southern port city of Kaohsiung also thought to be on the airline’s network radar.

For more of this week's news and analysis please click here to read The HUB.

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