Taiwanese airline TransAsia is to shut down following financial losses and two recent fatal crashes, the second of which produced one of the most extraordinary brief videos (below) in recent aviation history.
TransAsia chairman Vincent Lin said the airline, which served cities in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, had been unable to turn around its widening losses or raise extra funds.
TransAsia is no newcomer – it was established in 1951 as Taiwan’s first privately owned airline. According to AirlineRatings.com, TransAsia has suffered six crashes in the past 20 years, of which four involved fatalities.
The two most recent were both in Taiwan. One was in 2014 and the other early in 2015 and they killed a total of 92 people.
TransAsia Airways ATR-72 aircraft about to plunge into river
The video below of the 2015 crash shows a plane clipping a bridge before plunging into a river in central Taipei three minutes after taking off. The aircraft involved, a relatively new ATR-72, has two engines. When one of them malfunctioned, pilots mistakenly shut down the other engine, rather than the faulty one.
The crash of flight GE235 killed 40 of the 53 passengers and five crew aboard, including the two pilots. The fuselage was later salvaged by crane.
It was the second TransAsia ATR-72 to crash in seven months, following a fatal accident in July 2014.
Immediately after the 2015 crash, TransAsia Airways cancelled 90 flights so that its pilots could receive further training.
Written by Peter Needham