Budget airline Jetstar Asia yesterday announced cut-rate fares to its initial destinations of Hong Kong, Thailand and Taiwan and said it was seeking rights to fly to India and additional routes to China. \nSingapore-based Jetstar Asia Pte Ltd, which is backed by Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd, said a ticket to Hong Kong would start at a promotional S$48 each way (US$29) with service beginning Monday. \nA one-way fare to the Thai beach resort of Pattaya would start at S$29 (US$17) beginning a week later, while service from Singapore to Taipei would start on Dec. 16, with the price of a one-way ticket starting at S$88 (US$53). \nJetstar's chief operating officer, Con Korfiatis, also said the airline would begin flying to Shanghai from January, but company officials were also eyeing other Chinese destinations south of the commercial center. \nHe said the carrier was hoping that Singapore's "very proactive" pursuit of trade deals with China and India would open up the possibility of new routes for Jetstar to those countries. \nKorfiatis said the impending free trade deal between the city-state and New Delhi would likely result in new destinations such as Chennai and Mumbai "sooner rather than later" for the budget carrier. \nJetstar Asia is the third low-cost airline to be launched this year out of Singapore after Valuair and Tiger Airways -- backed by Singapore Airlines Ltd. \n"We have said from the beginning that our success will depend on our ability to grow the market and by becoming the first low-cost carrier to serve several major population centers,'' Korfiatis said. \nThe low-cost carrier's four other confirmed destinations -- Shanghai, the Philippines capital of Manila, Surabaya and Jakarta in Indonesia -- would be offered from January. \nKorfiatis said earlier Jetstar Asia would differentiate itself from its rivals, including the region's low-budget pioneer, Malaysia's Air Asia Bhd, by flying longer-haul routes. \nSingapore's aviation authorities have embraced the growth of low-cost fliers and are building a passenger terminal at Changi Airport specifically for discount airlines. It is set to open in 2006. \nJetstar Asia is 49 percent held by Qantas, Australia's national carrier. Its other significant backers include Temasek Holdings Ltd, the Singapore government's main investment arm, which holds 19 percent.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no