Taiwan carrier eyes $200 million expansion

Taiwan carrier TransAsia Airways is planning to spend $200 million on new jets and setting up a subsidiary in Japan to expand operations in Northeast Asia, the company and media said Wednesday.

The airline's board of directors has approved a plan to buy nine jets from European aircraft maker ATR, open a Japanese unit and buy a new building in Taipei, it said in a statement without disclosing financial details.

The Commercial Times said the airline is expected to invest around $200 million on the plan.

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The company also aims to raise $30 million by selling up to 50 million new shares in a placement, the report said.

A spokeswoman for the company said the additional funding would probably come from its own coffers and bank loans.

TransAsia Airways has been expanding since getting a revenue boost from its new China routes in recent years and it currently also operates services to Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.

ATR is the turboprop airplane venture between European defence group EADS and Alenia Aeronautica, part of the Italian industrial group Finmeccanica.

by Shaun Tandon © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Mar 21, 2012