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Starlux Receives DOT Permission To Launch US Flights

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Taiwanese 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. Starlux was eyeing flights to Los Angeles, but with international travel demand still in the doldrums and restrictions in place, flights may still be a while away.

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Starlux has received permission to fly to the USA from the US Department of Transportation. Photo: Starlux

Department of Transportation permit granted earlier this week

The foreign carrier permit issued allows Starlux 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 USA.

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 Stalux to operate A350-900 flights between Taipei and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Guam, Seattle, and San Jose. Stalux’s A350-1000 planes can fly between Taipei and Boston, New York (JFK and Newark), Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Washington Dulles.

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Starlux already operates a small fleet of Airbus A321neos. Photo: Starlux Airlines

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Starlux orders Airbus A350s to satisfy its long-haul plans

Bucking the low-cost carrier trend, Starlux positioned itself as a Taipei-based premium airline and launched some services around the region. However, services were promptly suspended as the global travel downturn impacted. Some limited services using their fleet of leased Airbus A321neos have since resumed.

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Two years ago, when Starlux was still on the drawing boards, the airline signed a deal with Airbus to buy 17 widebody planes. The order was for 12 A350-1000s and five A350-900s. These planes would support Starlux’s long-haul ambitions, including flights to the USA.

Seating up to 440 passengers (although Starlux’s premium seat heavy business model will see substantially fewer passengers on their widebody Airbus planes), the A350-1000 can range up to 16,100 kilometers before refueling. The A350-900 can fly 15,000 kilometers. In the first instance, Taiwanese authorities are keeping the slightly shorter range A350-900 to Pacific rim cities.

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Starlux had ordered 12 Airbus A350s. Photo: Airbus

Starlux eyes flights to Los Angeles

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.

With border closures, travel restrictions, vaccination rollouts, experts predict it may be several years before international travels get back to 2019 levels. Starlux Airlines may be counting its blessings its planned flight to the United States won’t happen before 2023.

What do you think? What are the prospects of Starlux Airlines making it to the USA in 2023? Post a comment and let us know.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/starlux-dot-permission-us-flights/

Aviation

Avelo Airlines adds new routes to Grand Junction and Medford

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Avelo Airlines commenced service on May 9 between Los Angeles and Western Colorado.

Avelo will serve Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) and Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) .

Flight XP115 departs BUR at 4:20 p.m., arriving GJT at 7:15 p.m. local time; flight XP116 departs GJT at 7:55 p.m., arriving BUR at 9:00 p.m. local time*. The flight will be available four days per week on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The route will be served by 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

On the same day, the new carrier commenced service to Medford, Oregon.

Avelo will fly nonstop between Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR) and Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, flight XP111 departs BUR at 4:20 p.m., arriving MFR at 6:10 p.m. local time; flight XP112 departs MFR at 6:50 p.m., arriving BUR at 8:50 p.m. local time. On Sunday, flight XP111 departs BUR at 11:10 a.m. arriving MFR at 1:00 p.m. local time; flight XP112 departs MFR at 1:40 p.m., arriving BUR at 3:40 p.m.

Route Map:

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/05/11/avelo-airlines-adds-new-routes-to-grand-junction-and-medford/

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Aviation

British Airways adds flights to holiday destinations

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British Airways made this announcement:

Following the announcement that Britons are likely to be able to get a summer holiday this year after all, British Airways has added new services to holiday destinations for June and July onwards, saying the new services are in response to overwhelming interest from its customers.

The 26 additional weekly frequencies will include destinations across Greece, the Canary Islands and Turkey to popular holiday hot spots including Corfu, Kos, Paphos, Rhodes, Lanzarote, Tenerife and Bodrum.

Photo: Rhodes, Greece. British Airways.

The newly established flights to Greece and the Canary Islands will be available to book from Tuesday, May 11, 2021 for travel between June 21, 2021 and September 5, 2021 over the peak summer period. Bodrum in Turkey will also be available to fly to from July 18, 2021.

British Airways is currently flying to 27 short-haul destinations, including 112 holiday hotspots for the peak of the summer period.

Additional Summer 2021 Frequencies added:

  • Heathrow – Lanzarote (ACE) +1pw, frequency growth from 5pw to 6pw
  • Heathrow – Bodrum (BJV) +2pw, frequency growth from 1pw to 3pw
  • Heathrow – Corfu (CFU) +3pw, frequency growth from 14pw to 17pw
  • Heathrow – Chania (CHQ) +3pw, frequency growth from 6pw to 9pw
  • Heathrow – Kefalonia (EFL) +2pw, frequency growth from 3pw to 5pw
  • Heathrow – Heraklion (HER) +1pw, frequency growth from 9pw to 10pw
  • Heathrow – Kos (KGS) + 2pw, frequency growth from 4pw to 6pw
  • Heathrow – Kalamata (KLX) +2pw, frequency growth from 3pw to 5pw
  • Heathrow – Paphos (PFO) +1pw, frequency growth from 7pw to 8pw
  • Heathrow – Preveza (PVK) +2pw, frequency growth from 4pw to 6pw
  • Heathrow – Rhodes (RHO) +2pw, frequency growth from 5pw to 7pw
  • Heathrow – Thessaloniki (SKG) +3pw, frequency growth from 9pw to 12pw
  • Heathrow – Tenerife (TFS) + 2pw, frequency growth from 13pw to 15pw

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/05/11/british-airways-adds-flights-to-holiday-destinations/

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Aerospace

Voyager acquires majority control of XO Markets

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Voyager Space has completed the purchase of a majority interest in commercial space holding company XO Markets.

Revealed in December 2020, the transaction also includes XO Markets subsidiary Nanoracks. It involves the infusion of significant growth capital into the business.

The financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.

Nanoracks provides low-cost, high-quality solutions required for satellite deployment, along with basic and educational research in over 30 countries.

The company has already launched more than 1,000 projects to the International Space Station, as well as the Bishop Airlock on the SpaceX CRS-21 mission on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

Nanoracks is also working on its long-term Space Outpost Program for private space platforms.

Voyager chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor said: “In the last year, the space industry has undergone a rapid evolution with demand for commercial space services reaching record highs.

“Innovative companies like Nanoracks are continuing to drive this transformation forward with first-of-their-kind technologies like the Bishop Airlock.

“We look forward to working with Jeffrey and his team as Nanoracks continues to push the envelope of what’s possible in the years to come while benefiting from the full support of our integrated model.”

Last month, Voyager completed the acquisition of The Launch Company, which specialises in the development of the systems, hardware, and processes to accelerate NewSpace companies to orbit.

In line with the NewSpace mission, Voyager recently inducted former Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine to chair its advisory board.

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Source: https://www.aerospace-technology.com/news/voyager-xo-markets-space-nanoracks/

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Aviation

Jazeera Airways Sees A Smaller Loss Than Last Year Despite COVID

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On May 10th, Jazeera Airways released its earnings figures for the first quarter of 2021. With the ongoing health crisis and tight travel restrictions imposed by the Kuwait government, the airline is still facing losses. However, when compared to the first quarter of 2020, the airline experienced a smaller loss. This was achieved by trimming the airline’s workforce and operations, as well as the absence of a total ban, as was experienced in Kuwait the year prior.

Jazeera Airways is a low-cost carrier that operates out of Kuwait. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons 

First-quarter earnings for 2021

Announcing its figures yesterday, Jazeera Airways posted an operating revenue of KD8.1 million ($26.92 million). 

When matching up operational revenue with operational expenses, the airline registered a net loss of KD5.2 million ($17.28 million). While not an insignificant figure, it does represent an improvement of 14% from the first quarter of 2020- which saw a net loss of KD6.0 million ($19.94 million). 

One big change from a year ago was the difference in travel restrictions and the airline’s ability to adapt. In March of 2020, with the health crisis just emerging, most airlines were caught off-guard. The Kuwaiti government imposed a complete ban on all commercial traffic, allowing only cargo operations and specially arranged repatriation services. This time around, Jazeera Airways has had the chance to right-size its workforce and its operations.

Additionally, Kuwait now has a slightly less restrictive flight policy. Rather than a blanket ban on all traffic, commercial flights from 35 countries are suspended at Kuwait International Airport. Since February 7th, 2021, the government has also imposed an arrival capacity of 1,000 Kuwaiti nationals per day.

Jazeera Airways operates an exclusively Airbus A320 fleet. Photo: Jazeera Airways

Passenger traffic numbers

The airline reports that the number of passengers flown during the quarter reached 104,116- which is down from 496,484 during the same period in 2020. This is due to ongoing restrictions at Kuwait International Airport (KWI).

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The airline’s load factor was 58.4%, while its yield increased by 105.2% to KD74.9 ($249). 

Jazeera Airways’ chairman credits some of its passenger traffic to connecting flights, as well as new destinations (with more on the way):

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“While restrictions continued at Kuwait International Airport during the quarter, Jazeera focused on connecting flights, targeting underserved segments of passengers within its network, which accounted for 28% of total passengers. The airline also launched two new destinations and acquired six new traffic rights as it prepares to launch new routes in the summer season. Overall, Jazeera acquired the largest market share at KWI during the month of March despite limited capacity.” -Marwan Boodai, Jazeera Airways Chairman

Jazeera Airways managed to grab a 25% market share of all passengers flown through Kuwait International Airport. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr 

Positive news during the first quarter

Indeed, the airline has had some positive news during the quarter. It launched two new routes to Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “These routes serve a resilient demand for travel by expatriates in the region,” the airline states.

During the period, the airline also took delivery of its sixth Airbus A320neo aircraft. In total, four A320neos will be delivered over the course of 2021.

The airline expects restrictions at Kuwait International Airport to be lifted over the remainder of the year – particularly as vaccination rates improve.

The airline’s chairman concludes by saying that Jazeera is in a strong financial position with an experienced team. “The airline has a solid portfolio of travel rights, an efficient fleet, and a network that connects passengers from point to point,” he adds.

Have you flown with Jazeera Airways yet? Share your experience by leaving a comment.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/jazeera-airways-smaller-loss-q1-21/

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