‘Hamlet’ in the skies? The story behind Taiwan’s newest airline
With its sleek aeroplane and stylish uniforms, the ‘Nestle’ Airline looks like an international airline from another era, one that still exists today.
It was a summer of air travel in Taiwan. From November 2013 to June 2014, visitors flocked to the island to experience the wonders of the skies. With only one airport to choose from, airfares were relatively inexpensive.
So after a great deal of work, the Taiwan Travel Bureau (TBT) came up with the idea of a brand new airline – the Taiwanese Domestic Airline ‘Nestle’.
While in the planning process, the Airline developed a new flight schedule around the high airfare season. To keep passengers’ traveling costs down, the Airline offered flights only for destinations with low airfare rates.
They also had a fleet of the airline’s own propeller-powered planes, and, as well as offering domestic flights, they also operated international services. They had one main goal in mind: to offer cheap air travel to all the people of the country.
In the end, the ‘Nestle Airlines’ took their first step towards accomplishing their goal when a major company – the US-based McDonald’s Corporation – came to them and bought 2 aircraft for $30 million each.
Nestle is now the country’s second largest airline, with flights to over 200 destinations. Its fleet is now composed solely of propeller-powered planes. With its pilots and engineers, the airline now has its own flight control tower in each of its hub cities.
The company, which was founded by the Austrian-born Swiss-American businessman George Nasser in 1978, is the first of its kind in Taiwan. The story about the birth of the first Taiwanese airline doesn’t end with the purchase of the planes, though. The original plan was to start operations when the new ‘Nestle Airlines’ had its first three aircraft in service.
‘Nestle Airlines’ started operations on 2 March 2014, flying one route per day with a flight time between Taipei and Kaohsiung of just 22 minutes. Two aircraft were added to the fleet after