Pleasure flight launched by Taiwan’s StarLux flies off the shelves

Travel-starved Taiwanese rush to fly above nation in style

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(Facebook, StarLux Airlines photo)

(Facebook, StarLux Airlines photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Tickets for the limited-edition pleasure flight launched by Taiwan’s start-up StarLux Airlines sold out as soon as they went on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 4).

The JX-8888 flight scheduled for Friday (Aug. 7) will be piloted by the company’s chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒), an experienced pilot whose role in a real-life succession drama has been described as “Prince Hamlet.” At NT$4,688 (US$160) a seat, the 188 tickets sold out quickly on Klook, reported UDN.

The airplane will take off at 11 a.m. on Friday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and head south towards the Philippines before returning to the airport along the country’s eastern coast. It will fly at a lower altitude than usual, allowing passengers to take in Taiwan's scenery on the three-hour journey.

The trip will feature “surprise views,” according to the air carrier, and an in-flight meal with options spanning Asian cuisine by Michelin-starred Longtail and barbecue from Hutong. Customers will also receive a gift set and discount offers for tax-free goods.

The “micro air travel” is part of a promotion to provide a unique flying experience at a time when international flights have been largely halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Taiwan’s two leading airlines, China Airlines and EVA Air, have introduced similar pleasure flights to coincide with Father’s Day, and these have also sold out.

StarLux has said more flights can be expected given the popularity of the service.