Taipei-Far Eastern Air Transport Corp. (FAT), which was grounded by the government after making a surprise announcement canceling all flights last month but later called the decision a misunderstanding, said Wednesday that new investors will take over the company if the airline is allowed to resume services.
"I am asking the government to do us a favor, help the new management to swiftly take over the company and allow FAT to operate again," said FAT Chairman Chang Kang-wei (???), adding that the new funding will be first used to pay outstanding salaries to its 1,000 employees since December and other debts.
The undertaking is for a funding injection of NT$3 billion (US$98.4 million), said Tsai Hui-ling (???), a lawyer who represents the investment team, led by local investor Tsai Meng-che (???).
However, whether the team will bail out the carrier depends on the government allowing FAT to resume flights, and listing the follow-up requirements, the lawyer said.
The investors would be upset if the government cancels FAT's civil aviation flight permit because that means the company would have to spend at least six months going through a series of airworthiness tests.
Chang and Tsai made the remarks as the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) moves toward canceling FAT's permits, based on recommendations from the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA).
In response to the possible bail out, the ministry said Chang had failed five times to keep his promises about new funding since he told the public on Dec. 13 that the surprise announcement on Dec. 12 was simply a misunderstanding among the management over the financial situation.
The MOTC urged Chang to first pay his employees, stressing that regardless of cancellation or not, FAT will still be required to undergo a new round of airworthiness flight safety examinations.
Any investor interested in a possible takeover can apply to the government, but minimum funding of NT$6 billion is necessary to operate international routes, while NT$1.5 billion is required for domestic routes, the ministry said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel