Up and coming Taiwanese airline STARLUX has launched its ticket sales for a brand-new route today. The airline will fly to Singapore from September 23rd, 2021, operating twice weekly to start, rising to three times a week from October. This is the fourth destination added for the airline this year.
Singapore is next for STARLUX
The importance of Singapore as not only an economic powerhouse in Asia but also a key connecting destination for passengers has not been overlooked by STARLUX. The airline is pointing its capacity at the Asian city-state, with flights scheduled to start from September 23rd.
Tickets are already on sale for this new destination, which will be flown twice weekly in September, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Departure from Taipei will be at 09:20, arriving in SIN at 13:45. The return flight operates at 15:05, arriving in Taipei at 20:05.
From October, the service will increase to three times a week, adding a Saturday rotation to the schedule. Flight times for the Saturday service will remain the same.
While passenger traffic might struggle to begin with, the airline believes that the current level of cargo demand on the route will sustain the service in the short term. As restrictions relax, it is looking forward to welcoming both business and leisure travelers onto its A321neos.
The Airbus narrowbodies have arguably one of the best business class products in Asia. The eight business class seats boast an 82-inch fully flat bed, although the 2-2 layout lacks the direct aisle access of some A321neo configurations, such as JetBlue’s.
The interior of the cabin was designed by BMW Group Designworks, and you can see the automotive influence in the rich material choices and attention to detail of these seats.
Back in economy, the 180 seats feature the same warm palette of colors, with IFE at every seat. Meals in economy were created by renowned Japanese-style grilled meat restaurant ‘Hutong’ in Taiwan, while those in business can enjoy specially prepared meals from Michelin starred restaurant ‘Longtail’.
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The slow and steady growth of STARLUX
Starting an airline is never an easy task. Starting an airline in the midst of a pandemic, from a country with super-strict border controls, is the ultimate challenge. But STARLUX Airlines has done just that, commencing operations in Taiwan in January 2020.
But the journey following its launch has not been without its challenges. The airline was forced to delay the start of its route to Cebu amid coronavirus lockdowns, and by March it was operating just one flight per day. In Mid-March 2020, it suspended operations entirely, only resuming a skeleton service from June onwards.
Things have picked up rapidly for the new airline, however. By September 2020, monthly flights had risen to 78, from just 32 in June. By January this year, the airline was flying almost 200 services a month. But it’s the start of the winter season this year where we really start to see the airline picking up the pace.
According to schedule data from Cirium, STARLUX will jump from around 250 flights a month in September to over 700 per month in October. The airline plans to build up these flights to a peak of 760 by the start of the summer 2022 season. Destinations in the schedule for October onwards include Bangkok, Cebu, Da Nang, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Manilla, Narita, Penang, Ho Chi Minh City and, of course, Singapore.
The list of destinations doesn’t change as we move into 2022, but it could. The airline has strong ambitions to fly to the United States, targeting 15 airports with its incoming widebodies. The airline has a total of 17 A350s on order, split between the -900 and the -1000, as well as eight A330neos, added to its order book late last year.
The widebodies are set to arrive by the end of 2021, with 2022 targeted for US flights beginning. The airline already has its permission from the DOT, and its first A350 has been spotted in Toulouse in full livery ahead of delivery to the carrier. If border restrictions allow, the sky could be the limit for this ambitious airline.