FAT’s poor aviation record stands out amid service suspension farce

FAT has delivered lackluster performance in terms of aviation safety and financial management

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FAT flight attendants.

FAT flight attendants. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the abrupt suspension and then proposed resumption of Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) services turned into a farce, a look at its poor aviation record over the years has shed fresh light on the history of the troubled airline.

More than 27,000 ticket refunds have been filed since the airline announced it would halt operations on Dec. 12, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). While a review is underway for the request by FAT to resume services, weary customers have apparently lost faith in the air carrier, wrote CNA.

According to Taiwan’s aviation regulator, FAT has logged 31 aviation safety violations since 2011. The airline came to a halt in 2008 over a financing crisis involving embezzlement, and it was not until 2011 the company received a green light to take to the skies again.

The 31 violations committed by FAT over the past eight years include in-flight shutdowns, hard landings without conducting due inspection, lost maintenance records, runway overruns, engines overheating, exceeding regulation altitudes, overworking flight attendants, passenger overloads, failed emergency drills, and poor implementation of maintenance plans, reported CNA.

In addition, FAT has also struggled in terms of financial management, being the only airline in Taiwan to have been imposed related penalties since such documents were made available in 2017. The breaches include over borrowing for non-aviation purposes and flight cancellations without good causes, according to CAA.