The airline that touched down at a popular Taiwan airport with the hype of a Hollywood blockbuster isn’t your typical a company. Instead of being dishing out the traditional turquoise airplane livery and huddled passengers, the cargo plane landed on Sunday at Taoyuan International Airport with a simple message as part of its “Flying with love” promotion: “Help Taiwan expand its wings.”
Back in August, the airline, Airlines for Peace (It’s called That’s a High Five Carrier, not Peka Airlines for short), had just received permission to fly into the largest airport in Taiwan, more than 11 times the size of Kennedy International Airport in New York City. The company chose the airport as a location because of the capital — Taipei — and because a lot of residents in Taoyuan City would be happy to travel to the capital city for a vacation.
Typically, the company would deploy its single Boeing 777 to run, but for the current promotion, it brought in two Boeing 777s. That doesn’t mean that Planes for Peace needs to put all of its planes to work, though. The plans it is using for the campaign also involves a fleet of all-electric twin-engine airplanes for low-budget flights.
Taiwanese film director Wu Hsiao-yun directed the inaugural flight, which took off from Taipei for a scheduled flight to Los Angeles. But once it landed, they had another unexpected passenger.
The new project is the brainchild of Peka airlines, a subsidiary of TZ Global Holdings, a company that bought most of Taiwan’s low-cost carriers back in 2011. In an interview, Wu Hsiao-yun told the Taipei Times that the airline wants to fill the gap left by China Eastern Airlines, which made the choice not to carry U.S. passengers back in August, thanks to an angry response from Beijing.
Now flying with love
“We are filling the gap left by China Eastern Airlines,” Wu said. “We have very low operating costs, and we have dreamed since the beginning about flying into America to entertain the U.S. market.”
According to Liao Bi-chih, president of TZ Global Holdings, it was true love that got the company’s airlines in its current predicament.
“We used to call our airlines ‘all out’ because we were never afraid to offer U.S. tickets to China passengers,” he said. “But at a certain point, we realized that China doesn’t tolerate this anymore. So we ended up offering U.S. tickets to passengers traveling to Korea.”
He added that since 2011, TZ Global Holdings “completely scrapped our plans to expand in China and fight for third-country passengers.”
Read the full story at Huanet News.
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