Taiwan's China Airlines to launch budget carrier soon: sources

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - China Airlines, Taiwan's biggest carrier, plans to launch a budget airline "as soon as possible", three people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, a move that will help it cash in on Asia's booming budget travel market.

The company's board will meet this week to discuss the plan, the sources said. No further details were available and the sources declined to be named as the matter was confidential.

China Airlines declined to comment on the plan.

There are several low-cost carriers operating in Taiwan, tapping the heavy traffic between the island and China. Among them is China's Spring Airlines, which launched this month.

Asia is home to several low-cost carriers like Malaysian-listed AirAsia Bhd and Indonesia's Lion Air.

Budget carriers are enjoying rapid growth, which is threatening some of the region's dominant airlines like Singapore Airlines .