Several airlines have long been running the Taiwan-Macau route, and Taiwan-based Starlux Airlines is launching one next month as “we’re still full of confidence about Macau’s market,” the carrier’s chief communications officer Nieh Kuo-Wei said on Tuesday.
Nieh made the comments while speaking to reporters after a press conference at MGM COTAI presenting the services and facilities Starlux offers, such as in-flight meals by a Michelin-starred restaurant for business class passengers, or sets prepared by an upscale yakiniku (grilled meat) chain for economy class passengers.
The company uses the new Airbus A321neo that is equipped with 188 seats, of which eight are business class and 180 are economy class. WiFi is provided throughout the flight.
According to the presentation, Macau, Da Nang, and Penang are the first destinations the airline will fly to from Taipei, and the maiden flights will take off on January 23, with three flights daily between Taipei and Macau.
“We’re not afraid of competition in the market, competition results in providing better services for travellers,” Nieh said.
Admitting that tickets are slightly more expensive, Nieh said he believed that travellers would not mind.
“For Macau people, they’re very rich, they wouldn’t mind the small price difference because when they’ve tried the service, they will have confidence in us,” Nieh said, pointing out that there are also many premium travellers in Taiwan, and Taiwan people do like to travel to Macau for the casinos, food and sightseeing.
According to Nieh, some 4,000 bookings were made on Starlux flights between Taipei-Macau on Tuesday.
He said the company expects 70-80 per cent of their passengers to be Taiwanese and 20-30 per cent Macau citizens.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the company has already ordered 10 A321neo aircraft. With plans to expand its flight routes to Southeast and Northeast Asian regions next year and North America in 2022, then Europe in 2024, the company plans to oder nine A350-900 and eight A350-1000 by the end of 2021, with a total of 27 premium aircraft at the end of 2024, raising the fleet to 50 by the end of 2030, according to Nieh.
Nieh said the North America route would also be an option for Macau residents with a stopover at Taoyuan airport in Taipei.