Interesting as I've heard the same story as well. But many who are close to CAL also tell me that the A300 has redeemed itself after intense retraining effort and contracting of training has been undertaken. The airplane has proven to be a very good vehicle for regional routes. Efficiency and profitability is quite good with it.
Last years CAL crash (and the prior accident at Nagoya in 1994) is the subject of a lot of internal debate at CAL.
One issue that has come to my attention in recent days is a little known discussion over the captain not wanting to divert to Kaohsiung. This is a key element in this tragedy as the pilot was totally fixated on -NOT- diverting to KHH.
Here is an extract of what was told me..
The captain's wife was on board CI676. She was an executive of a company in
Taiwan and had a very important meeting the next morning. Before the plane
left Bali, the capt was anxious about the weather condition in Taipei Int'l.
His wife must make TPE that night or would have trouble. He kept asking for
the weather condition via HF radio on the way back to TPE. Though his
altitude was too high on final to runway 05L, he decided to make the runway
anyway since the weather was becoming bad again and the airport would be
closed when he made a 15 minutes circle. However, he was really too high and
probably nobody could make it. Finally the crew decided to go around but the
autopilot problem of A300-600R came again. (if I'm right, they set the flaps
in wrong position that caused the plane pitched up to about 90 degree under
go-around power) A few seconds before impact, the CVR recorded the sound of
the F/O. He turned to the captain and said, "you SOB kill all of us!"
This is something worth considering in this. It really fits too, schedule wise a diversion to Kaohsiung at that time of night would have forced the people to be put up over night at the hotels or attempt to get the latest express bus to Taipei or attempt to catch the Express Train.
Or in other words, a high chance the important meeting would not have been made.
As for the A300, it has been a very good revenue maker for CAL and the accusations made against it have been largely refuted. The problem was primarily -training-. The Anti-A300 sentiment that was felt has been explored here in Taiwan's media, but careful examination and understanding of what went on is just now coming out.
CAL is returning to profitability and the primary issues of safety, CRM and so forth are now being trained by Lufthansa. There seems to be a change at CAL from what I've read, heard as well as seen.
As for goodwill, well.. Taiwan walks a delicate line trying to get support from everywhere. Just today there are rumors circulating that the USA will "punish" Taiwan by restricting sales of military equipment for President Lee Teng Hui's 's recent statements on "State to State" dialogue, of which is making headlines around the world.
Also of note, today -all 21- Taiwan county legislators and major city mayors signed a petition supporting President Lee's statement. The motion is already underway here to buttress support for President Lee's stance at home. What does that mean tradewise? A Good guess?
It could mean Taiwan gets more friendly with it's French supplier of Mirage jets and military equipment, along with civilian airliners from Airbus.
If the US moves to cut off military assistance to Taiwan (which could violate the Taiwan Relations Act), it could do irreparable damage to US-Taiwan trade let alone ties, (Taiwan is far more of an importer of US goods than Mainland China I will add) in reference to this matter, the converse of what you are saying in respect to China could occur.
Taiwan would basically say, "Fine, stab us in the back, you've done it before..fine..this time..we'll take our business elsewhere...we'll get our military equipment to defend ourselves and we'll get our airliners...elsewhere.."
They'd do it too. I sense a sincere frustration within the ROC of American politics with regards to Taiwan and China. I believe they are at a juncture. Another thing to consider, Taiwan also sits on top of the worlds 3rd largest gold reserve.
Watch the news closely how this recent row affects this, it shall be interesting.
And..last but not least, Airbus Vice Chairman Adam Brown was in Taipei Tuesday and I believe today. A story in the "China Times" quotes Brown saying an unidentified airline in Taiwan has requested the A3XX to go forward. There is another article in today's "China Post" stating the same but goes further to say that a $4 billion dollar order will be announced by China Airlines by the end of August.