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A Far Eastern Air Transport McDonnell Douglas MD-80. (Photo: Edwin Leong [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)])

Far Eastern Air Transport Abruptly Cancels Flights, Again

After abrupt flight cancellations on Thursday, Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) is reviewing an application from Far Eastern Air Transportation to resume service. The struggling airline abruptly announced it would be suspending services with the government revoking its license on the same day.

This is the second time the airline has canceled flights without prior notice and or arrangement within seven months. It is estimated nearly 3,500 passengers were affected and due to the cancellations, the airline will be fined NT 3 million ($99,600 USD) by the CAA for failing to meet the service commitments to consumers.

Chia-Lung Lin, Taiwan’s Minister of Transportation, believes the airline has come under close scrutiny and criticized its bad management. Far Eastern is expected not to resume recently due to flight safety concerns and also needs to prove its financial situation is stable.

Lin urged the airline to issue refunds to affected passengers as soon as possible. According to local media, over 40,000 refund applications were filed with the airline due to the cancellation. In the meantime, the CAA has demanded Uni Air and Mandarin Airlines add frequencies to meet the public demand.

Yu-Chi Huang, the Vice President of Far Eastern Air Transportation, said that the carrier was running out of cash to operate and needed NT 30 million ($1 million USD) to retain the operation. Huang, however, failed to contact Kang-Wei Chang, the chairman of the carrier, and hasn’t seen him for three months.

In response to the unclear future of the company and revocation of its license, Chang held a press conference on Friday, insisting the incident was a misunderstanding. In addition, Chang confirmed new funding of NT one billion ($33 million USD) injection into the airline next week and believes the new capital may cover overhead including employee salaries. Huang also stated the airline may resume the services on the same day of his announcement.

Will Lee
Will Lee
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