StarLux cancels Macau flights through March 28 amid virus fears

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwanese startup airline StarLux Airlines announced Monday it will cancel all of its flights between Taiwan and Macau from Feb. 8 to at least March 28 amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus epidemic gripping China.

The carrier, which started operations on Jan. 23, normally flies three round-trips a day to the special administrative region of China, but it canceled one of them on Jan. 30 as the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak escalated.

StarLux said it expected to resume its morning round-trip flight between Taoyuan and Macau on March 29, and resume the other two flights on June 1.

StarLux is not the only Taiwanese airline cutting capacity to cope with restrictions on travel across the Taiwan Strait to keep the coronavirus at bay. Hundreds of flights between Taiwan and China, Macau and Hong Kong will be canceled this month.

Tigerair Taiwan, a subsidiary of Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL), will cancel a total of 52 round-trip flights to Macau between Feb. 4 and Feb. 26, including halving the current four flights a day departing from Taoyuan, the airline said.

Meanwhile, CAL and its subsidiary Mandarin Airlines have announced the cancellation of some 120 round-trip flights from Feb. 11 to Feb. 22 between Taiwanese destinations and more than 10 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, as well as Hong Kong.

EVA Airways and its subsidiary UNI Airways have said they will cancel some 260 round-trip flights in February between Taiwan and major Chinese cities.