Air Transport World

Air Asia attracting more airline customers.

Air Asia attracting more airline customers Tainan, Taiwan--Air Asia is attracting an increasing amount of commercial transport overhaul and repair business after proclaiming itself "Asia's largest independent aircraft maintenance facility." A wholly owned subsidiary of E-Systems Inc. since 1975, the American-managed Taiwanese company had its origins on the Chinese mainland in the mid-1940s as the maintenance section of CNRRA Air Transport, the predecessor of General Claire Chennault's Civil Air Transport (CAT) airline.

The present General Manager of Air Asia, Joseph L. Madison, was running a shipyard in Shanghai in 1949 when CAT asked him to build two vessels as floating maintenance bases to take the equipment and personnel from the airline's technical facilities which were in locations threatened by the rapidly advancing Communist forces. The almost incredible story of how the ships managed to reach Taiwan and then serve first as the CAT technical base and then as the workshops for Air Asia is too long to recount here.

A little history

Air Asia was formally established in 1955 when CAT was split into three companies: Civil Air Transport Co. Ltd., Air America Inc. and Air Asia Co. Ltd. Owned by the U.S. government but registered as a Taiwanese company, Air Asia increasingly developed its military business while simultaneously continuing to provide technical support for the CAT fleet of commercial transports that included Convair 880 and Boeing 727 equipment before the demise of the airline in the late 1960s. …

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