Not a good week for air travel.
It has been reported that up to 51 people have died and seven injured when TransAsia Airways GE222 made an emergency landing in post-typhoon weather conditions, ploughing into two homes in the village of Xixi, not far from Magong Airport on Penghu Island.
The twin-engine turboprop ATR 72 was en-route from from Kaohsiung, a city in the south of Tawain to Penghu, an island archipelago off the western coast of Taiwan. There was heavy rain at the airport, the remnants of Typhoon Matmo which had earlier hit the island nation.
There were 54 passengers and four crew members on board. Apparently, the pilot abandoned the first landing and performed a go around. The crash occurred on the second landing.
TransAsia is a privately owned airline based in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. It has 33 destinations in Tawian, Southeast and Northeast Asia. This is apparently their eighth incident in the last 12 years of flying. According to Skytrax, TransAsia Airways is not a Star ranked airline. Its customers give it six out of ten. The airline has ten ATRs.
I have wanted to go to Penghu for some time. From all accounts, it is a beautiful place. Today, it is marred by tragedy. As a regular traveller to Asia and as someone who has many Taiwanese friends, I am quite touched. My thoughts to all on board, their families and loved ones.