Taiwan’s Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) is considering its future narrowbody fleet as it phases out all its aging MD-82s over the next three years.

Four of eight MD-82/83s will be retired this year and the remaining aircraft will be decommissioned no later than 2022.

In April 2018, FAT announced plans to lease 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, with the first aircraft delivered in late 2019. However, the plan was shelved after the grounding of the type.

According to Taiwan’s Liberty Times, FAT chairman Chang Kang-wei described the narrowbody market as “volatile” because of the MAX grounding and will focus on developing the ATR 72-600 fleet, adding three more of the type in the coming years.

He also hopes to change the public’s perception of the airline, after a series of negative publicity, such as operating beyond the monthly limits set by the country’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), and a runway overshoot incident in the Philippines. The carrier also launched a new cabin attendant’s uniform as part of plans to revitalize its image.

The airline listed on its website a package sale of eight MD82/83 aircraft, including JT2D-217C/219 engine spare parts, maintenance training and consultant services for the type. Chang added that around five parties have expressed interest in acquiring the aircraft. 

According to the Aviation Week Fleet Data Services, FAT has six ATR 72-600s in service, all leased from Nordic Aviation Capital.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com