Wed, Mar 07, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Chang Kuo-wei’s StarLux to ask for business license

Staff writer, with CNA

StarLux Airlines Co (星宇航空), which is being set up by former EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒), is to apply later this month for a business license in Taiwan, a spokesman for the start-up said on Sunday.

StarLux is awaiting a permit from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to establish an air transport company, after which it is to apply with the Civil Aeronautics Administration for an air operator certificate, company spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維) said.

Since the company set up an office in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) in August last year, it has recruited more than 100 employees, he said.

StarLux hopes to start commercial airline services in 2020, operating on several short routes to Southeast and Northeast Asia, before introducing long-haul routes to the US, he added.

The company is to operate a fleet of 14 new singe-aisle Airbus SE A320neo aircraft and 10 wide-body airliners, which it plans to rent for the first six years of operations, Nieh said.

The rental contract for the A320s is to be signed in the first half of this year, he said.

The plan to establish StarLux was announced in 2016 by Chang, the youngest son of Chang Yung-fa (張榮發), the late business tycoon who founded Taiwanese transportation conglomerate Evergreen Group (長榮集團).

At the time of the announcement, the nation’s laws required a business to have at least five years operational experience in international transportation or commerce before it could be eligible to apply for an air operator certificate.

However, on Thursday last week the Regulations of Civil Air Transport Enterprise (民用航空運輸業管理規則) were amended to make it easier to establish a new airline in Taiwan, although the new rules require aspiring businesses to have funding of at least NT$6 billion (US$204.9 million) and a minimum paid-in capital of NT$4 billion before they can gain approval to operate scheduled or nonscheduled air carrier services on international routes.

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