The Cabinet is considering freezing the assets of TransAsia Airways chairman, president and board directors and banning them from leaving the country, according to an initial agreement reached at a meeting Wednesday.
The inter-agency meeting was convened by Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao (???) and Cabinet Secretary-General Chen Mei-ling (???) to deal with Tuesday's sudden announcement that the airline -- Taiwan's third largest -- was closing down
Sources said the Cabinet will study the possibility of taking legal action, such as having the assets of the airline's top managers and directors seized or frozen to prevent the transfer of those assets, to protect the interests of the airline's employees, customers and investors.
TransAsia announced Tuesday that all flights would be suspended starting that day.
The Cabinet has worked with two domestic air carriers -- Mandarin Airlines and Uni Air -- to help fill the void on routes to Taiwan's outlying islands after TransAsia's abrupt shutdown, hoping that the two can cover at least half of TransAsia's routes to meet the basic needs of the islands' residents.
As to why the government will not take over the carrier, Premier Lin Chuan (??) said earlier Wednesday that the Cabinet did study the idea but found there was no legal basis for such a move under the Civil Aviation Act.
Ideally, he said, it would be best to have the planes, employees, crew members and pilots continue to operate and keep the impact of the airline's move to a minimum, but he acknowledged that would involve TransAsia, which after all owns the airline.
On the breakdown of a coordination meeting between TransAsia management and employees Wednesday morning, a Cabinet source said it was not yet time for the government to step in.
The government does not think it would have to step in until Dec. 2 and will call on the two sides to continue talking in the meantime.
Premier Lin called an inter-agency meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday to make a final decision on how to deal with the aftermath of TransAsia's closure.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel