Taipei, May 1 (CNA) TransAsia Airways, a mid-sized Taiwan-based international carrier, said Tuesday it has recruited a Japanese aviation veteran in a bid to expand its business in the North East Asia region.
Keizaburo Yokota, who has more than 30 years experience in the aviation business, has been appointed by TransAsia Airways as general manger of its North East Asia operations with responsibility for marketing and business expansion.
Yokota will be based in Tokyo and will help make Japan a hub for TransAsia's expansion in North East Asia, the company said.
He formerly worked for Japan Airlines in charge of its international cooperation division and was also based in Beijing for more than eight years as the Japanese carrier's representative to China, TransAsia said.
TransAsia Airways said it is upbeat about the potential for growth in the Asian aviation market and that Yokota's experience is what it needs to penetrate the fast growing market.
In a statement, Yokota said TransAsia Airways has laid a solid business development foundation in Japan since it launched charter flight services between there and Taiwan in 2008.
TransAsia Airways will use its years of charter flight experience in Japan to launch regular flights later this year and establish itself as a trustworthy carrier not just in the Japan but throughout Asia, Yokota said.
In 2010, TransAsia Airways provided more than 1,000 charter flights between Japan and Taiwan, operating with an average load factor of 90 percent, according to the company's statistics.
With Taipei and Tokyo signing an open skies agreement in November last year, TransAsia will commence scheduled flights between Taipei and Osakda on June 28.
After that, it will open scheduled services to Sapporo, Hakodate, Obihiro, Kushiro, Asahikawa, Okinawa and Fukuoka in the second half of this year, the carrier said.
It also plans to launch flights to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in the second half of this year, it said.
The average load factor on TransAsia flights between Taiwan and Singapore was 70 percent one year after the service was launched, the airline said.
(By Chao Hsiao-hui and Frances Huang)