Starlux Airlines (JX, Taipei Taoyuan) may postpone plans for its Los Angeles Int'l service until 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA).

Starlux spokesman Nieh Kuo-Wei said plans to start flying the route in June 2022 were first pushed back to the end of 2022, but now possibly to 2023. “With the pandemic still persisting, the launch of flights on the American route may be postponed further until 2023," he said. Starlux is authorised to operate scheduled and charter flights ferrying passengers, property, and mail between the two countries, as previously reported.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted Starlux a foreign air carrier permit effective from April 26, 2021, while Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation in November 2020 granted Starlux permission to operate A350-900 flights between Taipei Taoyuan and 15 destinations in the US.

Starlux began operations in January 2020 on regional routes in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

According to FlightRadar24 ADS-B data and the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, four of five A321-200NXs being leasing from GECAS have started service, with another five to be delivered. The aircraft are currently serving routes between Taipei and Macau Int'l, Penang, Kuala Lumpur Int'l, Tokyo Narita, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, and Osaka Kansai. The airline also has at least seventeen long-range A350s on order, the first of which was expected to be delivered by the end of 2021. These include nine A350-900s and eight A350-1000s, ch-aviation data reveals.

StarLux was founded in May 2018 by Chang Kuo-Wei, a former chairman of EVA Air (BR, Taipei Taoyuan), one of Taiwan's two leading international carriers.

Nieh said all US flights would depart from Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport, which serves the capital of Taipei and northern Taiwan. The A350-900s would ply routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco, CA, Guam Int'l, Honolulu, Seattle Tacoma Int'l, San José, CA, and Ontario and the A350-1000s would fly to New York (New York JFK and New York Newark), Washington Dulles, Houston Intc'l, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami Int'l, and Boston, he said.

The first US service would be to Los Angeles, and the opening of the other routes would depend on prevailing market conditions, Nieh said.