Taiwanese startup airline Starlux has started ticket sales ahead of its January launch, with routes now online for Macau, Da Nang (Vietnam), and Penang (Malaysia).
Who is Starlux?
We have covered Starlux rather extensively on Simple Flying, but if you missed out here is a brief overview.
Starlux is the latest carrier to enter the market in Tawain, joining the ranks of China Airlines and EVA Air as a full-service carrier. Unlike most new market entries we report on, you will be delighted to know that Starlux is focusing on the high-end, luxury market.
Their fleet of A321neos and A350s (Which they have 10 and 17 on order respectively) will feature lots of legroom in economy, large tv screens, lie-flat beds in the business cabin (even on the single-aisle short-haul A321neo) and food to match.
In fact, the airline has come out of the gate saying that they want to be the “Emirates of Asia” and that “detail-oriented luxury airline“.
Why are tickets only now on sale?
You may have realized that this is an awfully late time for tickets to go on sale, not even a month out of their first flights.
This hold-up on sales was actually due to the fact that Starlux had yet to be granted their airline certificate from Taiwanese officials. Fortunately, it seems that it is about to be granted and the Taiwanese Ministry of Transportation and Communications has let them put tickets on sale.
Where will you be able to fly?
As mentioned in this excellent article by fellow writer Chris Loh, the airline intends to fly daily to Macau, Da Nang (Vietnam), and Penang (Malaysia) from their hub of Taipei Taoyuan International Airport.
You might be wondering why they have opted to go for the daily flight, with the CEO of the airline commentating that it is to provide flexibility for business travelers.
“It is necessary that Starlux Airlines fly daily to regional destinations. Only by offering daily flights can we meet the needs of modern travelers who tend to travel any time they wish, or adjust flexibly to the temporary and often changing schedules of business travelers, bringing maximum convenience for all the passengers,” said Chang Kuo-wei, CEO of Starlux Airlines.
The first daily service will be to Macau…
Taipei to Macau flights
Here are the specific flight times:
Morning: JX201 will depart Taipei daily between 0725-0730 and arrive in Macau at 0925.It will return to Taipei as JX202 at 1030, and arrive at 1215.
Afternoon: JX203 will depart Taipei daily between 1305-1315 and arrive in Macau at 1510.It will return to Taipei as JX204 at 1610, and arrive at 1755.
Evening: JX205 will depart Taipei daily between 1845-1850 and arrive in Macau at 2040.It will return to Taipei as JX206 at 2140, and arrive at 2320.
Three times a day is very ambitious as a single delay could cascade throughout the Starlux network. And with only three aircraft currently, this means they would have no replacement aircraft.
And here is the rough costs (Note that $1 TWD = $0.033 USD, or rather $1 USD is $30 TWD).
So these prices for a basic business ticket are in the region of $307 USD.
As for economy class:
You would be looking at around $100 USD if my quick maths is correct.
Taipei to Da Nang flights
Morning: JX701 will depart Taipei daily between 0740-0750 and arrive in Da Nang at 0935.It will return to Taipei as JX702 at 1035, and arrive at 1420Evening: JX1701 will depart Taipei daily at 1520 and arrive in Da Nang at 1715.
It will return to Taipei as JX1702. Depending on the day it will depart Da Nang between 1815-1835 and arrive at 2200-2220.
Watch out, only a few remain to fly to Vietnam, with tickets around $464 USD.
Economy tickets to Vietnam can be had for around $130 USD.
Taipei to Macau flights
JX721 will depart Taipei daily at 0920 and arrive in Penang at 1400.
It will return to Taipei as JX722. Depending on the day, it will depart Penang between 1500-1510, and arrive at 1945-2000.
Simular priced to Vietnam, these flights are around $400-500 USD.
A bit more for economy, however, with the prices around
And if you are curious why there are different tiers, this is what you get for each price category:
Business has its own upgrades but they are mainly whether or not you can rebook the ticket on the same day.
Of course, these are just the regional routes that we were expecting. The real kingmaker will be to see how much they charge for fares to USA, Australia, and Europe when their fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft come online next year.
What do you think? Will you be flying on the new Starlux carrier?