Taiwan's Starlux emphasizes business/cargo routes over leisure destinations

Taiwanese carrier Starlux Airlines, now three years old, said business travel and cargo demand are driving the selection of its next destinations.

The carrier has postponed or suspended leisure routes that Starlux was actively promoting prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Starlux spokesperson said the company has opted to open routes to “important business destinations rather than popular vacation spots." He added that cargo demand is “quite high” and cargo traffic helped the airline cover its costs during the pandemic.

Starlux routes recently reopened from Taipei (TPE) include Osaka (KIX), Tokyo (NRT), Bangkok (BKK), Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Manila (MNL). A TPE-Singapore (SIN) route on will launch on Sept. 23. Starlux's flights to leisure destination Da Nang (DAD) in Vietnam have been suspended and the airline has further postponed the opening of routes to Cebu (CEB) and Okinawa (OKA).

The fleet’s expansion plan remains unchanged, with three more Airbus A321neos to be delivered later this year. The airline will start taking delivery of eight A330-900s from the beginning of 2022. Ten A350-900s and eight A350-1000s will commence delivery in the 2022 second quarter.

According to Aviation Week Network fleet data services, Starlux currently has five A321neos in service, all leased.

Photo credit: Starlux Airlines

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.