Direct flights between Japan's Kumamoto, Taipei to begin in Sept.

Taiwan's Starlux Airlines Co. said Friday it will begin operating the first direct flight service connecting Kumamoto in southwestern Japan and Taipei starting Sept. 1.

The announcement comes as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chipmaker, has been constructing a plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, with the new factory expected to increase demand for business travel.

The airline will provide three round-trip flights a week, for which tickets went on sale Friday.

Around 300 people from Taiwan will be sent to work at the Kumamoto plant in the town of Kikuyo, located near Kumamoto Airport, while travel by TSMC engineers is likely to increase between the two places. The factory is expected to start production in late 2024.

Starlux Airlines also cited Kumamoto's location in the center of Kyushu island and its good traffic network as additional reasons for opening the new route.

The airline began flying between Fukuoka, in northern Kyushu, and Taipei in February last year.

© Kyodo News