SINGAPORE – Taiwan-listed airline TransAsia Airways, officially received delivery of its first A330-300 aircraft in Airbus’s Headquarter in Toulouse, France, on 26th November. The new jet has landed today in Taipei.
The delivery marks the beginning of TransAsia Airways’ fleet enhancement plan; from 2013 to 2022, the airline will receive a further 31 new aircraft, which includes its second A330-300, six A321-200, twelve A321-neo, and twelve ATR-600 – three of which are optional.
“The delivery of A330 is another milestone for TransAsia Airways”, said Mr. Vincent M. Lin, Chairman of TransAsia Airways, “Together with the 2nd A330-300 expected to be in operation early next year, we will see an annual growth of 40% in passenger capacity on international routes. As the first wide-body jet, A330-300 aircraft will facilitate new destination expansion and enhance our competitiveness among peers. In addition, its advanced technology and enhanced interior layout will ensure a better and more comfortable flight experience for our passengers.”
The stretched-fuselage A330-300 matches twin-engine efficiency with increased passenger capacity. This jetliner has a range of up to 5,450 nautical miles while carrying 300 passengers in a typical two-cabin arrangement seating 32 in business class at a 60-inch seat pitch and 268 in economy class at 32-inch seat pitch. All seats are equipped with individual inflight entertainment system.
Compared to its peers, the A330 is an all-round aircraft – capable of achieving efficiency and keeping operating costs low. Its versatility in operating different kinds of routes and its optimum performance on medium to long haul routes, more specifically 7-9 hours range, are in line with TransAsia’s expansion strategy to enlarge its international destination network and to compete on a global platform.
On the airline’s fleet selection strategy, Vincent added: “Fleet and network are the two most important aspects of an airline. Making the right choice on fleet purchase is critical to an airline’s performance. To mitigate the risk of fluctuating fuel price, we selected ATR fleet for domestic routes for its light weight, fuel efficiency and safety. We also ordered twelve A321neo aircraft, ahead of other Taiwanese airlines, for its flexibility and range capability and fuel saving of up to 15%. A321neo will be the key model for our fleet moving forward.”
“A330-300 model has many commonalities with A320 series, which provide us cost savings in terms of pilot training, maintenance and operation. The first A330-300 aircraft will be deployed on international routes to Japan and Singapore. In the near future, we are also looking to further expand our network to include destinations within 9 hour radius from Taiwan, including Sydney, New Zealand, Guam, and the Middle East.”
Since 2010, TransAsia Airways has doubled the number of scheduled international routes to 16 destinations including Singapore, Macau, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. In 2012, the airline has rolled out a series of service upgrade initiatives to offer value added experience to passengers, including the launch of its new crew uniform, new in-flight menu and new airport lounge at Taoyuan International Airport with an Oxygen Bar.