After the deadly crash of TransAsia Airways Flight GE235, which claimed the lives of at least 31 of the 58 people on board, the reputation of the Taiwan-based airline has been damaged. Only 7 months ago, on July 23, 2014, another TransAsia Flight crashed near Magong Airport, on Taiwan’s Penghu Island, resulting in 47 deaths. The images of the two fatal incidents are now engraved in the public’s mind. Many people will now ask the question: Just how safe is TransAsia Airways?
TransAsia Airways (復興航空/复兴航空; pinyin: Fùxīng Hángkōng) was founded in 1951 as Taiwan’s first private civil airline. In 1958, however, it terminated its air services and specialised in meal catering services for other airlines.
It was only 30 years later, in 1988, that TransAsia reentered the air service market. In 1991 the company purchased its first ATR 72 aircraft and in 1992 it launched its first unscheduled charter services to various destinations in Asia. In 1995 it started its first scheduled international flights from Macau to Surabaya.
TransAsia currently operates various domestic and international routes. In Taiwan it operates flights to and from Taipei, Taichung, Kaoshiung, Hualian, Magong and Jinmen. Among its international destinations are Shanghai, Xiamen, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Quanzhou, Yichang, Tianjin, Macau, Osaka, Tokyo, and Bangkok.
Since 1995 TransAsia has been involved in 5 accidents:
- On January 1995 an ATR 72-200 of TransAsia from Penghu to Taipei crashed, killing 4 crew members.
- On December 2002 a cargo flight from Taipei to Macau encountered severe icing conditions and crashed off Magong city. According to the official investigation ice accumulated around components of the aircraft. The two crew members failed to take the appropriate measures. Both of them were killed.
- TransAsia Flight 543 collided with a truck after landing at Tainan Airport. The aircraft was severely damaged, but none of the people on board were killed or injured.
- On July 23 TransAsia Flight 222 crashed near Magong Airport after a flight from Kaohsiung. 47 people were killed.
- TransAsia Flight 235 to Jinmen Island crashed a few minutes after taking off from Songshan Airport in Taipei. At least 31 people were killed.