Taiwan minister vetoes domestic StarLux flights from main international airport

StarLux plans to launch summer charters to Kinmen, Penghu, Taitung

StarLux Airlines plans to launch domestic flights (screenshot from Facebook) 

StarLux Airlines plans to launch domestic flights (screenshot from Facebook) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Facing the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on global travel, StarLux Airlines wants to launch domestic charter flights, but Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said Tuesday (July 28) that it would not be allowed to use Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Taiwan’s youngest airline launched operations in January, just as the coronavirus began to travel the world. The company saw itself forced to suspend flights to Malaysia, Macau, and Vietnam and to postpone flights to the Philippines until October at the earliest.

While the air links with Penang and Macau have been at least partially restored, StarLux planned to address rapidly growing domestic tourism by launching charter flights to Kinmen, Penghu, and Taitung, Liberty Times reported.

However, its intention to do so from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the country’s main international gateway, has been met with a veto from the transportation minister.

As Taoyuan is an international airport in use for overseas flights, it is unsuitable for domestic operations, Lin said. He welcomed StarLux to launch summer charters out of Taipei Songshan Airport, Taichung, and Kaohsiung, as those locations would help to reach even more domestic travelers, according to Liberty Times.