Former EVA chairman plans new airline

Chang Kuo-wei not interested in TransAsia

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(By Central News Agency)

        TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former EVA Airways Chairman Chang Kuo-wei has no interest in taking over TransAsia Airways as he is already in the process of forming a new airline of his own, reports said Wednesday.

        Since TransAsia management announced on October 22 that it was shutting down the airline due to poor financial prospects, a search has been going on for potential investors to save the company from dissolution. Earlier Wednesday, a former Civil Aeronautics Administration chief acknowledged the bid he was representing to take over TransAsia would not succeed.

        There were many rumors that Chang Kuo-wei would move in and buy TransAsia, but the people who know him realize that his dream is to launch an airline of his own, former EVA spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei told reporters.

        Both men were ousted from EVA last March amid a struggle for control of the Evergreen Group between Chang, a son of founder Chang Jung-fa and his second wife, and the tycoon’s first wife and sons.

        Chang Kuo-wei was pictured as the energetic young reformer of the family business, but he lost the fight for control as his elder half-brothers controlled more stock in the enterprise, which is centered on one of the world’s largest container shipping lines.

        According to Nieh, Chang had already registered a Chinese-language name for his new company, Xing Yu Hangkong, loosely translated as Star Airlines, with the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

        Chang would find an opportune time to reveal more details to the public, including the target public for the new airline, its capital, and the number of planes it planned to buy, Nieh said.

        TransAsia was the third largest carrier in Taiwan, behind China Airlines, which will operate most of its routes as a temporary measure until February 15, and EVA.