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As one airline stops flying, another is set to start (in the same country)

Commercial aviation is a fickle business: one minute an airline folds, while another one flies - sometimes in the same country, and even almost at the same time.


Case in point: Taiwan-based StarLux Airlines will become Asia’s newest carrier when it launches next month. 



With its first services to operate on 23 January, the international airline will initially fly between Taipei and Macau, Penang (Malaysia) and Da Nang (Vietnam). But it will look to expand operations to North America from 2022.


It’s already creating quite the stir too, if early ticket sales are anything to go by, with StarLux spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei saying that the first flights to its three destinations had sold out in just 11 minutes, Channel News Asia reported.


StarLux aims to compile a fleet of 27 aircraft, comprising 10 A321neo planes and 17 widebody A350s.


Founded by former EVA Airways chairman Chang Kuo-wei, StarLux will joins China Airlines and EVA as an international carrier based in Taipei. 


Meanwhile, Taiwanese carrier Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) suddenly suspended operations late last week, leaving 500 passengers stranded overseas. 


According to Forbes, the 62-year-old airline said on its website that it would cease running due to “operational losses”. 


John Grant, director of UK-based JG Aviation Consultants, said “airlines such as Far Eastern are stuck in the strategic position that is unsustainable”. 


“Neither a low-cost carrier nor a full service network airline, the carrier is challenged from all sides and unable to command a secure market position.”


But according to Taiwan News, FAT chairman Chang Kang-wei told media that the company would obtain sufficient capital to continue operating.   

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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 17 December 2019

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