Starlux Airlines, described as a detail-oriented luxury airline, will take delivery of the first of 17 Airbus A350 jets from the end of 2021, with plans to spread its wings across Asia and North America.
These 17 Airbus A350 comprise eight A350-1000s and nine A350-900s. Starlux Airlines stated that they are planning to start their new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft that would feature a first-class cabin.
According to a Starlux proposal filed with the US Department of Transportation for intended flights between Taipei and Los Angeles beginning in 2022, the A350-900 will have 306 seats. In comparison to other airlines who fly the A350-900, that’s a huge fleet.
The airline has also expected to receive the other remaining Airbus A350-900 and Airbus A350-1000 to be delivered within the year 2024 for routes to Europe and North America, and other Asian destinations as planned.
In March 2019, The airline signed a purchase agreement, a firm order for 17 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, the country’s largest Single purchase agreement.
Besides that, the airline also has a firm order of 8 Airbus A321 Neo and 8 Airbus A330-900, which will be delivered within the fourth quarter of 2021. The airline is also expected to receive 10 Airbus A350-900 and 8 Airbus A350-1000 to be delivered within the year 2024 for routes to Europe and North America, and other Asian destinations.
“I want to introduce Taiwanese airline brands to the world stage, dispelling perceptions that we don’t have good carriers and that Taiwan is known for its bad aviation safety record,” Chang Kuo-Wei, founder of Starlux Airlines, previously stated.
“The success of StarLux does not just rely on the Taiwan market,” says airline PR exec Nieh, “you may reach key Asian cities within five hours.”
“Taiwan has the best basis to develop as an aviation hub because of its pivotal location connecting North America, North Asia, and Southeast Asia.”
Planning for a first-class:
The airline, which began flying earlier this year, intends to add a first-class cabin to its A350 aircraft. The first-class service would be provided by every 17 Airbus A350, comprising eight A350-1000s and nine A350-900s.
According to Focus Taiwan, Starlux Airlines’ future Airbus A350 aircraft would feature a first-class cabin. The final layout of the first-class cabin is expected out by the end of the year.
Starlux’s Airbus A321neos does not yet feature the first-class cabin. Instead, there are Business and Economy class seats on the big plane.
While first-class on the Airbus A350 is unusual, the choice aligns with Starlux’s goal of becoming a luxury carrier and its intention to surpass competitors China Airlines and EVA Air.
Starlux is attempting to establish itself as a high-end airline. As a result, the airline is expected to make a significant jump ahead to the A350s. With a widebody like the A350, an airline has a lot of room to experiment with multiple product designs. In luxury cabins, privacy is becoming increasingly important.
According to the buzz, StarLux could opt for a ‘business/first’ cabin similar to the Vantage First evolution designed by Thompson Aero and FactoryDesign to crown the Vantage XL business class on the Airbus A350s of China Eastern and Malaysia Airlines.
Starlux Airlines present senario
Chang Kuo-Wei, a member of one of Taiwan’s wealthiest families with a net worth of US$1.45 billion, is a former of Starlux Airlines. He is a long-time Taiwanese aviation executive and former EVA Air chairman.
The airline currently operates with a total of 5 Airbus A321neo that have been leased from GECAS, an Irish-American-based Commercial Aviation financing Company. These aircraft have provided its fleet service to Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.