Airline Startup Of The Week: Starlux Airlines

The aviation industry is currently seeing vast expansion. Over the last decade the Vietnamese aviation industry has grown by 17.4%, Air Italy will almost quadruple its fleet to 50 by 2022 and In 2020, Starlux Airlines will begin operations in Taiwan.

There are currently 7 airlines operating out of Taiwan, with the flag carrier being China Airlines. The other airlines are Daily Air, EVA Air, Far Eastern Air Transport, Mandarin Airlines, Tigerair Taiwan, and Uni Air. China Airlines and EVA Air also operate cargo flights from Taiwan. Shortly this will become 8 with the addition of Starlux Airlines.

Starlux Airlines
Starlux Airlines plans to launch in 2020. Image: Starlux Airlines

2020 Launch

Starlux Airlines plans to launch into full operations in 2020. This shouldn’t be an issue as the man behind the yoke is Kuo-Wei Chang. Mr Chang is the airline’s chairman. He also previously served as Eva Air’s chairman. In addition, Mr Chang is a rated Boeing 777 pilot. The airline’s operations centre is due to open in July 2020. In fact, construction of the centre began this week. The centre will be adjacent to Taipei Taoyuan Airport. Mr Chang estimates that over the next decade, this centre will employ 8,000 staff. These staff would be responsible for everything from fleet and staff scheduling to customer relations.

Starlux Airlines
Starlux Airlines will initially launch using A321Neo aircraft. Image: Starlux Airlines

Airbus Fleet

Starlux Airlines will launch with an all Airbus fleet. At this year’s Farnborough Airshow Starlux signed a memorandum of understanding with the European aircraft manufacturer. The deal saw Starlux Airlines commit to purchasing 17 A350XWB aircraft. This comprises 12 A350-1000s and 5 A350-900s. These -900 aircraft will not be delivered until late 2021. The -1000s will start to join the airlines fleet in the third quarter of 2022. With this in mind, Starlux will launch with 10 Airbus A321neos. These aircraft should be delivered in just over a years time. The A321s will be leased according to a press release by the airline.

Starlux Airlines
The airline’s chairman hopes the flight operations centre will employ 8,000 over the next decade. Image: Starlux Airlines

Speaking about the A350XWB order, Kuo-Wei Chang commented “As a pilot myself, I personally experienced the test-flight of the A350-1000. Its outstanding performance really amazed me. The A350XWB is indeed one-of-a-kind in the current market, and perfectly suited for such a geographic location as Taiwan”.

“Best Airline In The World”

The airline has its expectations set very high. In a press release on its website, a spokesperson for the airline said “STARLUX is dedicated to becoming one of the best airlines in the world, making it imperative that it flies the most advanced aircraft and equipment in the industry.” This was added to by Mr Chang who went on to say “We are very glad that STARLUX has received so much support from industry-leading companies like Airbus and CFM to help us continue moving forward to our goal. Together with these outstanding partners, I am very confident that STARLUX will be able to take off in early 2020 as scheduled and shine brightly in the airline industry”.

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Starlux Airlines has ordered 17 A350 aircraft from Airbus. Image: Starlux Airlines

The airline is set to aggressively launch, with one of its first routes being Taipei-Hong Kong, the worlds busiest route by passenger number. In the last year it saw 5.4 million passengers. The airline’s A350s will be used for transpacific routes. The airline is currently recruiting cadet pilots, and should be commencing large scale recruitment of airport staff at the start of 2019.

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