A brand new major airline based in Taiwan, Starlux Airlines (Chinese: 星宇航空) announced that it will commence operations in early 2020. Starlux Airlines will become the 8th airline to begin operations in Taiwan, with its headquarters based in the capital, Taipei.
The airline was founded by a Taiwanese National, Chang Kuo-wei. Chang Kuo-wei, the CEO of Starlux Airlines is a former Chairman of competitor EVA Airlines. Kuo-wei announced that Starlux Airlines will perform its maiden flight on the 23 January 2020. Macau, Da Nang and Penang are the three possible launch destinations for the carrier.
Starlux Airlines will operate a full Airbus fleet, comprising 10 Airbus A321neos, 5 Airbus A350-900s and 12 Airbus A350-1000s. The first Airbus A321neo is scheduled to be delivered in late October while the first Airbus A350 is scheduled to be delivered in 2021.
Starlux Airlines has plans to launch flights to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Tokyo and the Philippines. Besides flying to destinations across Asia, Starlux aims to connect Taiwan to North America but that is unlikely to happen until about 2024.
Asia is home to many low cost carriers like AirAsia and Tigerair. With the recent trade wars, countries have been reporting a slow-down in their economy and as such, people are looking for cheaper alternatives to travel. Thus, Starlux is expected to face heavy competition with low-cost carriers.
Besides low cost carriers, the airline will face stiff competition from airlines operating pre-existing routes to and from Taipei. For instance, between Singapore and Taiwan, there are already 14 flights operated by a mixture of full service carriers and budget airlines.