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A Starlux A321neo. (Photo: StarLux Airlines)

StarLux Plans to Expand in North America In 2022

According to Taiwan’s local media, StarLux Airline is going to expand its route map to North America in 2022. The airline has applied for 15 potential American destinations to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). Earlier, StarLux ordered 17 A350XWB, including nine A350-900 and eight A350-1000, which are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The U.S. is a major long-haul market for the Taiwanese aviation industry. StarLux is planning to fly A350-900 from Taiwan to Los Angeles; San Francisco; Guam; Honolulu; Seattle; San Jose and Ontario, Calif. Its A350-1000 will fly to New York (JFK); Newark, N.J.; Washington, D.C.; Houston; Chicago; Dallas; Miami and Boston. StarLux will become the second Taiwanese carrier to operate the A350-1000.

The first StarLux aircraft could land in North America as soon as June 2022. However, this could change based on developments in the U.S. market and the delivery of the aircraft, according to Nieh.

Earlier, StarLux mentioned it is planning flexibly, as the airline made a U-turn on launching services to Cebu, Philippines and Okinawa, Japan. Also, it put the brake on developing domestic services. In the meantime, StarLux has its route map to Bangkok, Tokyo and Osaka recently in response to coronavirus trends, which have flattened in Thailand and Japan.

StarLux launched its service in early 2020 with three A320 as the pandemic began. However, the airline remained aggressive as the fourth aircraft joined its fleet last month. The airline maintains daily services to Macau and twice weekly to Penang, Malaysia at the moment. However, no plans to extend its route map to Europe have been revealed thus far.

In the meantime, StarLux’s main rival, China Airlines, is unable to extend its upward trend. As a result of declining cargo services, the airline posted a loss of $24.7 million in the third quarter. China Airlines did make a profit of $85.96 million in the second quarter, which surprised the aviation industry.

However, Tiger Air, its low-cost carrier, performed poorly, and global travel restrictions caused the loss. However, the carrier is reinforcing its cargo fleet during the pandemic; its first Boeing 777F cargo aircraft is expected to join its fleet by the end of the year.

The airline forecast that cargo revenue could increase again, as the fourth quarter is the peak season of the cargo services. China Airlines is expected to the least impact of the pandemic due to a strong cargo fleet.

Will Lee
Will Lee
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