TransAsia Airways announces service upgrade plan

13 Jul 2012

Facing competition from other major airlines in Taiwan, TransAsia Airways (TNA) has announced plans for an upgrade to its services starting in July. This follows the carrier’s fleet enhancement and route expansion plan announcements earlier this year.

TNA has recently opened another airport lounge at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for business class passengers. With a capacity of up to 60 people, the lounge features a live noodle-making station and meals tailored to customers’ preferences. The lounge’s Oxygen Bar, to open in September, features humidified air scented with essential oils that can be inhaled to counter the effects of travelling at high altitudes.

The carrier will also focus on improving software and service, said Vincent M. Lin, Chairman of TNA. In-flight entertainment upgrades include implementing the audio visual on demand system on all flights and providing iPads on all medium-haul international routes for business class passengers (see story here). Crew uniforms will also be redesigned and on-board fine dining experiences introduced.

To expand its fleet, TNA signed a US$201-million deal with European turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR earlier this month to purchase nine ATR 72-600s. Delivery will be in phases between 2014 and 2018. Mr Lin commented that the ATR model is light, safe and fuel-efficient, making it perfect for short-haul domestic routes. The new aircraft will be configured with 72 seats and a new full-glass cockpit. The ATR 72-600s are also equipped with the ‘Armonia cabin’, and will provide more leg room for passengers.

In addition to the existing 18 aircraft in operation, the carrier has placed an order for 29 new models to arrive in 2014, which sets them firmly on track to achieve a 20 per cent increase in seat capacity every year.

TNA also has plans to extend its global network. Following the implementation of the open skies policy between Taiwan and Japan in late 2011, the carrier has launched its inaugural route to Osaka in Japan on June 28, and will also soon reach five more Japanese destinations, including Okinawa, Hakodate, New Chitose, Asahikawa and Kushiro. Starting from May 31, the airline will also launch two weekly flights from Taoyuan to Sanya, China.

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Michelle Fong

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