獨 / 飛行員執照是關鍵!星宇航空更改決定,申請國內線包機!| Why Starlux changed mind about domestic charter flights?

【看CP學英文】台灣的精品國際航空公司星宇航空最近改變了不飛行國內航班的決策。在向本地媒體發表的聲明中,該航空公司表示,在獲得政府批准後,將計劃開通飛往金門、澎湖和台東的包機。

Taiwan’s luxury international carrier, Starlux Airlines, recently reversed its decision to not operate domestic flights. In a statement to local media, the airline indicated that it now plans to launch charter flights to Kinmen, Penghu and Taitung, pending government approval.

此消息讓人感到十分驚喜,畢竟幾週前星宇航空才決定不開通國內航線,此文分析了當時做出此決定的原因。

This announcement is particularly surprising considering that Starlux decided against such plans a few weeks ago for many reasons. So, why was such a decision made back then?

由於航空業的本質及環境各方因素是隨時劇烈變動的,因此航空公司在做相對應的反應和決策時,必須應變快速且具彈性,尤其是身處不確定的疫情特殊時期。以下有可能是星宇航空改變其短期計劃的關鍵原因:

Given that the aviation industry is dynamic in nature, particularly during uncertain times, airlines have to be quick and flexible in their decision making. Here is one crucial reason why Starlux may have changed its plans for the short-term future:

鑑於大多數國際航班因新型冠狀病毒肺炎的大流行而被取消,世界上大多數飛機駕駛員可飛行的航班數量十分有限。

Given that most international passenger flights have been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of the world’s pilots have had limited flights to operate.

然而,航空公司的駕駛艙人員若想保有其飛航執照,他們必須達到國際法規的要求,例如須定期執行操作飛機的起飛和降落。

However, in order for an airlines’ cockpit crew to retain their pilot licenses, they must meet international regulatory requirements such as regularly making takeoffs and landings.

為了避免因飛行次數不足而被吊銷執照而不得不“重新培訓”飛行員,航空公司會努力確保駕駛艙人員能達到所需飛行次數的最低標準。

To avoid having to “re-train” their pilots if their licenses are suspended due to inactivity, airlines strive to ensure that the minimum requirements for flight operations are met.

這種努力可能是需要付出昂貴代價的。例如,韓國的韓亞航空近期會飛行空機、也就是沒有乘客搭乘的A380航班,為的就是要讓駕駛艙人員可以維持保有此款飛機的駕駛執照。

Such efforts can be costly; for example, South Korea’s Asiana Airlines has been flying empty A380s in order for the aircraft type’s cockpit crew to retain their licenses.

此外,現況與先前的預期相反,當前的新型冠狀病毒肺炎席捲全球,此危機目前似乎沒有可預期的終點。因此,星宇航空採用此短期方案,來解決問題及保持飛行員的證照持有,這是相當明智的決定。

Furthermore, contrary to previous expectations, there appears to be no predictable end to the current crisis, with the current coronavirus ravaging countries across the globe. As such, it is wise for Starlux to adopt a short-term solution to address the issue of maintaining pilot certification.

由於星宇航空期望保有駕駛艙人員的執照,而這需要飛行一定的航班數量,開通國內包機可使航空公司既符合前述需求,又同時有營運收入。

Since it is in Starlux Airlines’ interest to maintain certified licenses for their cockpit crew, the company might as well earn revenue while Starlux’s pilots operate the necessary flights.

同時,雖然國內航班的利潤可能不是很高,但是當利潤更高的國際航班恢復正常時,體驗過星宇航空設備齊全及全方位周到服務航班的旅客可能會更傾向於選擇此精品航空公司,而不是其競爭對手。

At the same time, while domestic flights may not be extremely profitable, passengers who experience Starlux’s well-appointed planes may be more inclined to choose the luxury airline over its competitors, when more profitable international flights return to normal.

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