Taiwanese Based Airline Starlux has received the green light from United States authorities to begin flights between Taiwan and the USA. The Department of Transportation gave the go-ahead on Tuesday. The airline was reportedly eyeing flights to LAX, but flights may be quite a while away.
The permit allows the airline to fly “scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail from points behind Taiwan, via Taiwan and intermediate points, to a point or points in the United States and beyond.”
Starlux will also be allowed to operate charter services in and out of the United States as long as there is no change of aircraft and the primary purpose of the charter is to transport traffic between Taiwan and the US.
This follows Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation November 2020 decision also allowing the planned USA flights. Interestingly, that permit matched cities to particular aircraft types. Taiwanese authorities will allow Starlux to operate A350-900 flights between Taipei and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Guam, Seattle, and San Jose. Starlux’s A350-1000 planes can fly between Taipei and Boston, New York (JFK and Newark), Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Washington Dulles.
In their application to the Department of Transport late last year, Starlux Airlines indicated it wanted to operate daily flights between Taipei and Los Angeles from 2023. Using one of their new Airbus A350s, the flights would add 223,380 seats annually to the route. Starlux flagged expected passenger load factors of 75.3%. Starlux anticipates generating annual revenues in excess of US$121 million on the route.
In addition to United States-based carriers such as United Airlines, Starlux will be going up against local competitors China Airlines and EVA Air on the Taiwan-USA corridor. Department of Transportation data reveals 1,362,160 passengers flew between the USA and Taiwan (or vice versa) in 2019. In contrast, just 307,036 passengers flew the sector in 2020.