Taiwan's first budget airline set for maiden flight

Posted at 09/01/14 9:35 PM

TAIPEI - Taiwan's first budget airline said Monday it was scheduled to launch its maiden flight later this month, tapping into the robust demand for cheap travel in Asia.

Tigerair Taiwan -- a joint venture between China Airlines, the island's leading air carrier by fleet size, and Singapore's low-cost carrier Tigerair -- is slated to start its service on September 26 with a flight to Singapore from Taiwan.

The announcement came after a brand new A320, the company's first aircraft, flew from France to the northern Taoyuan airport early Sunday morning.

"The arrival of the plane is a milestone in the company's operation," company spokesman Eric Lee told AFP.

"We'd open up to three other flight routes to the Southeast Asian region after October," he said, adding that the air carrier also plans to begin flights to South Korea and Japan from the first quarter of 2015.

Tigerair Taiwan, 90 percent controlled by China Airlines with the remainder held by Tigerair, plans to introduce a fleet of 12 A-320s in three years.

Taiwan's TransAsia Airways has also announced the formation of a low-cost carrier called "V air", expecting the subsidiary to become operational in the final quarter of this year.

Demand for discount flights has been rising in Asia. Twelve foreign budget airlines, including Malaysia-based AirAsia and Japan's Peach Aviation, offer services to and from Taiwan.

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