Tigerair Taiwan certified; CAL adds haute cuisine

Budget carrier Tigerair Taiwan (台灣虎航) yesterday said that it has received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) issued by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) to be the first low-cost carrier (LCC) to launch operations in Taiwan.

Established in December last year, Tigerair Taiwan is a joint venture between Taiwan’s China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and Tiger Airways Pte of Singapore. CAL holds an 80 percent stake in the carrier, which will maintain its plan to launch its first route between Taipei and Singapore on Sept. 26, according to a company statement.
Tigerair Taiwan is scheduled to launch another two or three new routes to Southeast Asia by the end of this year, with cities in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam to be possible destinations, chief executive Yue Kwan (關栩) said this month.

After raising the number of its Airbus SAS 320-series fleet to seven next year, Tigerair Taiwan might add routes to Japan and South Korea, aiming to break even during its second year of operations, Kwan added.

In related news, CAL is to launch a year-long in-flight dining offer in collaboration with the Okura Prestige Taipei (台北大倉久和大飯店) hotel next month.

It will be the first time a Taiwanese airline brings a luxury hotel’s Japanese cuisine into the sky, with business-class passengers flying from Taipei to Tokyo and Osaka the first to enjoy the cuisine, CAL said yesterday.

Routes to Japan have been one of the most important profit sources for CAL, evident from the relatively high passenger load factor. The carrier currently runs 35 flights to Tokyo and 24 to Osaka per week.
CAL said it expects to offer the special Japanese cuisine to about 100,000 passengers over the year.