ANSETT Australia hopes to launch services to Taipei by the end of the year and expects to lease a Boeing 747-300 as part of a planned Asia-Pacific expansion, a senior airline official says. Executive director, international, Hugh Thorburn, said during a visit to Hong Kong last week that the airline had applied for twice-weekly Sydney-Taipei services. Mr Thorburn said Ansett was also studying the feasibility of launching services to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore, and hoped to receive additional rights to operate to Seoul. Ansett last year obtained one weekly right to service Seoul as of November 1, 1994, and Mr Thorburn said it was hoped one more right would be granted by November this year. Services would begin some time next year, he said. Mr Thorburn said Beijing and Shanghai were also being studied but they were still several years in the making, because existing air service agreements between the Australian and Chinese governments needed to be modified. 'I see ample growth in this region,' Mr Thorburn said. 'But Ansett has made a decision that we do not want to add new routes just for the sake of a vast network, but to operate the routes profitably. 'We want profitable growth. Therefore, these routes are still under consideration.' Ansett, which began international services in November, 1993, to Bali, now has six flights per week leaving from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane using Boeing 767 and Airbus Industrie A320 aircraft. It also operates five flights a week to Osaka and launched Sydney-Hong Kong services in September, 1994 with three flights per week. Since May last year it has operated the service five times a week and would like to increase to daily flights. Mr Thorburn said that while load factors were good, at about 65 per cent on average, Ansett was losing out to rivals Cathay Pacific and Qantas in the business traveller market because of a lack of daily services. 'The direct Sydney and Hong Kong route has long been serviced by Cathay and Qantas, and they have loyal passengers,' Mr Thorburn said. 'We have had a marked increase for business travellers, because of the added frequency, but there are some one-way only passengers on Ansett due to the flight pattern. 'The business travel market has been difficult for Ansett to tap, because of the limited services available. 'We believe daily services are needed to provide full services to this market segment.' Mr Thorburn said he hoped the air dispute between Hong Kong and Australia would be resolved soon. The dispute concerns alleged abuses by Qantas on the amount of passengers it picks up from the territory and carries onward to Singapore and Bangkok.