TAIPEI (AFP) - TransAsia Airways said on Wednesday it will invest around NTD$3 billion (S$127 million) to launch Taiwan's first low cost carrier as it looks to tap into growing demand for cheap travel.
"We have been preparing this for a long time and our goal is to design a budget airline completely catering to the needs and expectations of the Taiwanese people," said chairman Vincent Lin after the company secured government approval to set up the airline.
TransAsia, Taiwan's first private airline, plans to lease two to three Airbus A320/A321 for the carrier, which it hopes to start flying within a year, Mr Lin said.
"We will lease brand new aircraft for a brand new airline. We will use the best equipment possible," he said, but he declined to say which routes the airline would cater to or the price range of the airfare.
The company has launched a contest to name the new airline, with the winner entitled to unlimited flights for 10 years, Mr Lin said.
TransAsia - which flies to Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam - has been expanding as it benefits from increased revenues from new China routes that have opened up in recent years since relations between Beijing and Taipei have improved.