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Tigerair Taiwan aiming to break even in 4 years

2017/09/19 18:52:56

Chang Ho-jo (張鴻鐘)

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Budget airline Tigerair Taiwan, a subsidiary of Taiwan's China Airlines, said Tuesday it is hoping to make up for its accumulated losses of NT$1.3 billion (US$43.1 million) within four years in the wake of positive signs in its performance so far this year.

The carrier had been reporting losses since it inaugurated services in Taiwan in September 2014, and has not been able to reverse the trend until this January.

However, according to Tigerair Taiwan Chairman Chang Ho-jo (張鴻鐘), the carrier has seen good progress in its financial performance since then, adding that the carrier has posted a profit of NT$174 million for the first six months of 2017.

The airline reported a deficit of NT$420 million during the same period of last year, he said.

"We are confident that we are in an upward trend," Chang said during a press conference to celebrate its three years of operation in Taiwan, adding that the company also did well in July and August.

The key for the airline to return to profitability lies in greater cooperation with local tourism groups for charter flights, Chang said.

Operating a fleet of 10 Airbus A320s and set to take delivery of its 11th in November, Chang said the airline has devoted 10 percent of its transport capacity to charter flights on average, taking passengers to Ibaraki and Saga prefectures in Japan, for instance.

Chang also said the airline will keep focusing on its existing network and will not consider adding more destinations or acquiring more planes.

"The priority now is to keep our current operation stable to make sure we continue to make money," Chang said.

Tigerair Taiwan is doing best in Japan, South Korea and Macau, he went on, adding that average ridership on all its routes has hit 80 percent so far this year.

The company will also launch Kaohsiung-Fukuoka flights Dec. 18. Both cities are existing destinations in the Tigerair Taiwan network.

The airline currently operates 19 routes across 14 cities in Asia, enjoying a market share of 23 percent of the over 20 low-cost carriers serving Taiwan.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)