Taiwan Government Starts Charter Service
The Taiwanese government has entered the business jet charter business. The government-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) flew its maiden flight last Saturday from Taichung City in the interior of the island state to Kinmen Island, off its coast. The company is using Astra SP aircraft it imported in 2000. The company hopes to run both domestic and international charters and has set its sights Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila. The big plum in the Taiwanese charter business is behind a geopolitical roadblock.
By far the most lucrative routes for the state-run company and other private interests that might be interested would be hops to China, which, despite the tense relationship between them, is Taiwan's most important trading partner. As we reported in November, a Taiwanese start-up, Win Air, has put a G550 in service and is the first privately owned charter company to operate in the country. It too, is hoping diplomatic relations between the two governments will allow direct private flights over the strait.