Aviation roundup: Starlux Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and more

Here’s our weekly roundup of new air routes and other aviation news.

StarLux Airlines takes to the skies
After almost three years of preparation, StarLux Airlines launched three inaugural flights on January 23, 2020 to three destinations – Macau (thrice-daily), Danang (twice-daily) and Penang (daily).

The brand-new carrier, operating out of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, will operate the A321neo aircraft on three routes. The aircraft has 188 seats, including eight in business class and 180 in economy class.

Beginning April 6, 2020, Starlux will also start flying daily between Taipei and Cebu. This is the airline’s fourth destination. JX781 will depart from Taipei at 15.15, and arrive in Cebu at 18.10. The return leg will depart Cebu at 19.15, and arrive in Taipei at 22.00.

Starlux Airlines will initially fly routes in South-east Asia and North-east Asia, gradually developing its trans-oceanic routes to North America starting in 2022.

PAL to reintroduce US route
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will reintroduce a non-stop Cebu-Los Angeles service starting from May 2, 2020, restoring the only direct air link between the Visayas and the US.

PAL’s Cebu-Los Angeles flights will depart three-times-weekly for Los Angeles from Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport, utilising the 370-seater Boeing 777-300ER.

PR152 will depart Cebu at 21.00 every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive in Los Angeles at 19.30 on the same days. The return flight PR153 will leave Los Angeles at 23.00 every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, touching down two days later in Cebu at 05.00 after 14 hours.

The service marks PAL’s comeback to the Cebu-Los Angeles route. The flag carrier previously operated Cebu-Los Angeles flights from March 2016 up to May 2017.

PAL also recently announced the inauguration of several international routes, including the first-ever non-nstop flights between Manila and Perth (starting March 30); Zamboanga and Kota Kinabalu (from March 29); and between Davao and Manado (from March 29).

LOT Polish Airlines ups New Delhi-Warsaw frequency
After the launch of its New Delhi-Warsaw operations in September last year, LOT Polish Airlines will increase its frequency from five-times-weekly to daily, effective September 14, 2020.

Flights will depart Delhi at 11.05, and arrive in Warsaw at 15.20. On the other leg, flights will depart Warsaw at 22.45 and arrive in Delhi at 09.15 the following day.

On its Delhi-Warsaw route, LOT Polish Airlines features Indian meals in all three cabins (LOT Business Class, LOT Premium Economy Class, LOT Economy Class), as well as inflight entertainment system including the latest Bollywood releases in Hindi.

Emirates connect Singapore and Penang
From April 9, Emirates will start a new daily service from Singapore to Penang.

EK 348 will arrive in Singapore from Dubai at 14.05 before departing again at 15.35 and arriving into Penang at 17.15 on the same day. The return flight EK 349 will depart Penang at 22.20, arriving in Singapore at 23.50. The flight from Singapore will then depart at 01.40 the following day, bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 04.55.

The fifth-freedom route will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration.

Penang will become Emirates’ second destination in Malaysia after its capital, Kuala Lumpur, which the airline currently serves with three flights a day, and is a route that has been operating since 1996.

Jetstar ceases flights to Hong Kong
Jetstar Asia’s last service between Singapore and Hong Kong will operate on March 28, 2020.

This decision was made in response to ongoing falling demand. The aircraft will be redeployed to growth markets where there is strong demand such as Yangon, Clark, Manila and Osaka.

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