Taiwanese airline TransAsia shuts down after heavy losses

TAIPEI, Taiwan – TransAsia Airways, a Taiwanese carrier that served cities in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, announced Tuesday it was shutting down following heavy losses and two fatal crashes.

Chairman Vincent Lin said the airline was unable to reverse widening losses or raise additional money. The airline suspended flights on Tuesday, prompting speculation it might shut down.

TransAsia lost 2.2 billion New Taiwan dollars ($69 million) in the first nine months of the year “and the future does not seem better,” Lin said at a news conference.

“The board of directors has made the painful decision to dissolve the company,” he said.

TransAsia was established in 1951 as Taiwan’s first privately owned airline.

The carrier suffered two fatal crashes in 2014 and early 2015, both in Taiwan, that killed a total of 92 people. In both cases, investigators blamed pilot errors.