Taiwan’s Apex Flight Academy To Expand Into Providing Tourism Charters
Note: Chinese language version of article is lower down 中文版翻译在文章下方
Taiwan-based flight training organization Apex Flight Academy has purchased two Tecnam P2012 Traveller aircraft and aims to become the first operator in Taiwan to provide aerial tours for people wanting to see the island’s scenic landscape.
Wilson Kao, the founder and managing director of Apex Flight Academy, tells Smart Aviation Asia Pacific that currently there is no dedicated and cost-effective provider for such air tours in Taiwan, hence they seek to be the pioneer in this industry.
“Taiwan’s valleys, mountain ranges and ocean vistas are really beautiful, and we hope that travellers can see the picturesque country through the skies, immersing themselves in this unique experience,” he says.
Kao says they are working hand-in-hand with the local government and tour agencies, and believe that this could be a popular sightseeing option for locals and foreigners that will help the local tourism industry. The P2012 operation will be based at Taitung Airport where the Apex Flight Academy is also based. Taitung is a coastal city in southeast Taiwan.
“Domestic travel is popular these days [among Taiwanese] and once the global pandemic situation recovers, we foresee demand [from foreign tourists] for these aerial tours,” says Kao.
He says the first P2012 was originally slated to arrive in June or July, but the schedule was delayed due to COVID-19. First delivery is now expected this month, with the second aircraft to arrive in next year’s second-half.
“We have applied for the air operator’s certificate and are awaiting the Civil Aeronautics Administration’s (CAA) approval. It is expected to come before the end of this year or the latest January next year. Our first batch of pilots have already undergone training in Italy and are back in Taiwan,” he adds.
Although ticket sales have yet to start, Kao says they plan to use the P2012 to cover the eastern and southern regions such as Hualien and Taitung, with each guided tour to be around 45 minutes to an hour long with up to a maximum of nine passengers per flight.
He says prior to buying the two P2012s, it also considered other 10-13 seat aircraft such as the Cessna Caravan.
“However, there are a lot of restrictions regarding single engine operations. As some of our planned routes will be over water, upon careful consideration, we decided to go with the P2012 as it has twin engines and is a newly certified multi engine aircraft,” he says.
With regards to future expansion plans, Kao says the company will take it ‘one step at a time’, and see how the situation goes. More details on the aerial tours will be provided after the AOC is approved, he adds.
The flying school began in 2014 and is the first and only Taiwan CAA-certified flight training organization, the company says.
The P2012 is a nine passenger seat aircraft developed by Italian manufacturer Tecnam Aircraft. The high-wing aircraft, which is powered by two Lycoming piston engines, has range of 950nm, maximum cruise speed of 194kts and a take-off and landing distance of 791m (2596ft) and 743m respectively.
Picture Source: Apex Flight Academy, Tecnam Aircraft
Featured photo shows Wilson Kao, the founder and managing director of Apex Flight Academy.
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安捷飞航训练中心已购买了两架全新的 Tecnam P2012 型飞机，指望成为台湾首个提供空中导览服务的业者，让公众欣赏台湾的风景美貌。
安捷飞航训练中心创办人兼董事长高健祐告诉Smart Aviation Asia Pacific 目前台湾并没有类似空中导览的服务，因此他们希望成为这个领域的先锋。