Taiwan's TransAsia Airways shuts down after plane crashes and bad books

TransAsia Airways says it would not be able to pay back a convertible bond, which is due later this month.

Taiwan: TransAsia Airways to shut down after suffering losses
A logo of of Taiwan's third-largest airline, TransAsia Airways Corp. is seen in front of its counter after it applied to suspend its flights on Tuesday, without giving any earlier warning, at Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan November 21, 2016 Reuters

TransAsia Airways Corp, struggling Taiwanese airline, said on Tuesday its board decided to shut down the company and would suspend all its flight services. The move, which followed a stock value erosion that worsened the company's finances, has dealt a blow to Taiwan's airline and tourism industries.

"This is a very painful choice for the company," Daniel Liu, the Chief Executive said in a news briefing. "Our communications with investors have not been successful," he said. Liu added that they have also discussed six to seven options including restructuring and raising more capital.

The third-largest carrier of the island also said it would not be able to pay back a convertible bond, which is due later this month, due to lack of capital. However, the details of the bond or the amount of the debt were not immediately available.

TransAsia was hugely affected after two plane crashes respectively in 2014 and 2015 resulting in a downturn in its business. It has reported losses in each of the previous six quarters up to the end of September.

Early in 2016, the aviation safety agency of Taiwan urged TransAsia to review its safety protocols, pilot training programme and hiring practices in order to reduce "imminent risks".

The Aviation Safety Council recommended 10 review criteria for the airline following an investigation into a June 2014 crash of TransAsia's flight GE222. The accident killed 48 out of 58 passengers and crew members.

But less than a year later, another TransAsia flight crashed into a river after taking off from Taipei's Songshan airport, questioning the safety of the airline.