The China Airlines (CAL ??) takeover of closing mid-sized carrier TransAsia Airways's (????) domestic and overseas routes will continue until Feb. 15, 2017, Vice Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (???) said Friday.
Wang's comments echoed Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (???), who said a day earlier that CAL's takeover of all of TransAsia's routes, which is scheduled to start on Dec. 1, will be only a short-term measure.
On Wednesday, the Cabinet asked CAL and its subsidiary, Mandarin Airlines (????), to assume all of the routes served by TransAsia, which announced a day earlier without advance warning that it was closing due to massive losses and heavy debts.
Wang said that during the period of CAL's takeover, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) will reallocate TransAsia's air rights and routes by thorough assessment of capacity and safety records of the carriers interested in TransAsia's routes.
Wang said that the redistribution of the routes will be completed by Feb. 15 so that passengers flying to destinations previously served by TransAsia will be catered to "without any disruption."
In addition to six domestic routes, TransAsia operated eight overseas routes outside of China, such as Sapporo, Osaka, Macao, Chiang Maii and Jeju.
The carrier also flew to 13 Chinese destinations, including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Chongqing, Wuhan, Wuxi and Changsha. The Taipei-Shanghai route has been called a "golden route," as it commands a higher load factor for carriers on the back of the great number of business travelers who use the route.
The earlier two different announcements by the Cabinet and the MTOC about CAL's takeover of TransAsia's routes attracted criticism about the way the government has dealt with TransAsia's closure.
The controversy over how the government dealt with TransAsia's closure reportedly led President Tsai Ing-wen (???) and Lin to blame the MOTC and caused Hochen Tan (???), head of the MOTC to tender his resignation.
Hsu denied Friday that Hochen has sought to step down, and added that Tsai and Lin do not blame him over TransAsia's abrupt closure.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel