TAIPEI, 18 May 2021: Despite the continuing pandemic, the startup airline from Taiwan, Starlux Airlines, launched its brand-new route between Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.
It claims it will operate three round-trip flights a week on the Taipei-Ho Chi Minh route despite severe border restrictions that limit entry to Vietnam to just repatriate Vietnamese citizens and essential or official business travel.
Flights are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday departing Taipei at 0800 and arriving in HCMC at 1025. The return flights are scheduled out of HCMC at 1125 to arrive in Taipei at 1610. However, advance bookings not open beyond 20 May according to the airline’s flight status search.
Founder KW Chang, a former chairman of EVA Airways, established in May 2018, positioning it as a “luxury boutique airline”. In early 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic erupted, it launched flights from Taoyuan to three destinations –Macau, Danang and Penang.
With its hub at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the airline says it is preparing to serve routes to cities in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia and ultimately establish a trans-oceanic route to North America.
In its latest media statement released Sunday, it claims to be operating flights to Macau, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo and Osaka without giving any further details. It is highly unlikely that the airline could sustain frequent services to any of the cities identified as long as Covid-19 restrictions and border controls are in place.
Starlux has four A321neo operating with nine more on order. The company plans to introduce eight A330-900, 10 A350-900s and eight A350-1000s according to its business plan.
(Source: Starlux Airlines)