Far Eastern Air Transport seeks government approval to delay the retirement of some of its aging aircraft, in order to transition smoothly to two more leased ATR -600s arriving in 3Q and 4Q 2018. Fleet at year end to include four ATR -600s and eight MD80s, with either B737 MAX or A321neos added in 2019 to increase its international flights.

The ATRs will be used domestically and to nearby islands, while the MD80s are flown internationally.

The carrier is seeking the extension as the governemnt is reviewing a proposed amendment that would force aircraft in operation for more than 26 years to be retired. Four of its MD80s are 26 years or more in 2019, possibly forcing the carrier out of business, according to president Joseph Lee.

FAT hopes the ministry will delay the enforcement of the amendment by at least three years in order to train ATR pilots and eventually transition to the MAX or Neo aircraft.