StarLux Airlines Co Ltd (星宇航空) is planning to start services on Jan. 23 next year with flights to three destinations in Asia for the Lunar New Year holiday, the company said on Tuesday.
On the first day of services, which will be the day before Lunar New Year’s Eve, the airline will begin offering daily flights to Macau, Penang, Malaysia and Da Nang, Vietnam, StarLux spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維) said.
The aim is to take advantage of strong demand during the Lunar New Year holiday, a traditional peak season for the nation’s tourism industry.
StarLux plans to gradually extend service to other destinations in Southeast and North Asia, Nieh said.
StarLux hopes to start booking tickets for the three routes by the end of this year, although an exact timeframe depends on the airline winning approval from the Civil Aeronautics Administration.
The airline was founded in May last year by Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒), EVA Airways Corp’s (長榮航空) former chairman.
StarLux has said it would focus on routes within Asia initially before expanding to North American destinations from 2022, targeting high-end travelers.
The carrier expects to build a fleet of 27 aircraft, comprising 10 Airbus A321neos and 17 A350s-1000s.
It is leasing the 10 A321neos, the first of which is to be delivered by the end of next month.
Chang on March 19 signed a purchase agreement in Taipei with Airbus SE — represented by Airbus executive vice president of sales forAsia Jean-Francois Laval and Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer — and jet engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, represented by senior vice president customers and civil aerospace Paul Freestone.
The Taipei signing ceremony followed a memorandum of understanding that Chang had signed at the Farnborough Airshow in the UK in July last year.
StarLux is to be the first Taiwanese carrier to operate the A350-1000s.
Chang, who holds a commercial pilot’s license, is to personally take delivery of the first A321neo in Hamburg, Germany, a production base for Airbus, the airline added.
On Monday last week, the carrier released a photograph of its first A321neo, showing fuselage colors inspired by earth and wood elements with rose gold, iron gray and its logo on the aircraft’s tail.
The first plane needs to undergo testing before delivery and the delivery of the first three planes is to be completed before the launch of the services in January.
Delivery of all 10 aircraft would be completed by the middle of 2022, it said.
Delivery of the A350s is set to start at the end of 2021 and be completed in 2024, it said.
The A350s would be used on long-haul flights to North America, scheduled to start in 2022, it said.
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