Mon, Jan 07, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Starlux plans to receive 10 aircraft in October

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Starlux Airlines (星宇航空) plans to begin taking delivery of 10 Airbus A321neo planes in October for use on short-haul flights from Taiwan to Northeast and Southeast Asian nations, with services to start in the first quarter of next year, the company said last week.

Starlux would be the first airline in the nation to use the A321neo aircraft and has received type certification from the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), Starlux spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維) told the Taipei Times on Friday.

The company might fly the single-aisle A321neo aircraft — a longer version of the A320 that is more fuel efficient and has more capacity — in January next year if it gains an Air Operator’s Certificate from the aviation regulator earlier than expected, it said.

Starlux also plans to purchase 17 A350 planes, which would be used for long-haul flights, such as between Taiwan and the US, the company said, adding that it plans to begin taking delivery of the A350s from 2021 to 2024.

The company has reached the document-review stage of its business plan, fleet expansion, aircraft maintenance and safety management in a five-stage evaluation conducted by the CAA, the company said.

After the document-review stage, Starlux is to enter the demonstration stage, where it needs to conduct a tabletop exercise and trial flights, according to CAA regulations.

The company hopes to receive air operator’s certification at the end of this year, Nieh said.

“Without the certification, we cannot begin operations or sell tickets, so we want to receive it as soon as possible,” he said.

To prepare for the launch of formal operations next year, Starlux is to recruit 120 flight attendants by July.

The number of staff is expected to rise to 620 after July and would reach 1,000 before operations begin, it said.

Separately, Tigerair Taiwan Ltd (台灣虎航) on Friday announced a recruitment drive to hire 60 ground staff by next month as it expands its operations at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

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