No North American airline has had an 'Asia' subsidiary. Neither have most south east Asian airlines. And as so many have pointed out, even KL
and, in the past, other airlines have flown their "ordinary" aircraft to Taipei.
So here's one of my theories:
European airlines would prefer to fly over the PRC
when operating to Taipei. By establishing an "Asia" subsidiary they obtained a separate call sign . The PRC
were not too concerned what the specific overflying aircraft looked like. After all, who in the PRC
would see them? Everything was therefore OK
provided the call sign was different to that of aircraft flying in to PEK
and other PRC
? Well, not quite. This would explain why no North American or most South East Asian airline "needed" an "Asia" subsidiary and all the European airlines did. But what about QF
? And JL
had an "Asian" subsidiary from August 1977 right through until 2008 when it was liquidated. And although British Asia Airways had its own IATA code, BR
(that was originally the code for BCal), it used the "BAW" ICAO code and the "Speedbird" call sign used by British Airways Main Line,
Soi here is another of my theories:
government refused to authorise traffic rights to operate to the PRC
to any airline operating to ROC
by overflying the PRC
. But why did JL
, unlike any North American airline, have Asia subsidiaries.
And here is my next theory:
We all blame the PRC
for this anomalous situation. But could it be to appease the ROC
government. Perhaps the boot was on the other foot. Perhaps they did not like airlines serving the PRC
operating into the ROC
. This could explain why the offices of the likes of British Asia Airways were in Taipei. So the tax theory comes into play. But why no American airlines with "Asia" subsidiaries? Perhaps as a trusted ally they were excluded from this requirement.
Then . . .
OMG! Does anyone know the real reason?