Taiwanese startup, Starlux Airlines, has revealed its new luxurious Airbus A321neo cabin ahead of its inaugural flight. Created by Newbury Park, California headquartered, Designworks, a subsidiary of German carmaker BMW, the cabin is geared towards the sophisticated traveler.
Featuring warm colors and rich textiles and innovative materials, Designworks’ goal was to recreate an upscale home-like atmosphere that passengers would love.
The Starlux A321neos economy seats offer extra legroom
While trying to project tranquillity, the designers opted to use shades of brown and grey with rose gold and cashmere silver accents, to give the cabin a futuristic look.
In what will be a first for any Taiwanese carrier on a narrowbody jet, business class passengers will have seats that can transform into an 82-inch bed. The seats also have a control panel next to the headrest allowing passengers to quickly return the seat to an upright position.
Economy passengers too, benefit from Designworks’ automotive industry experience, with ultra-thin seat backs designed to provide more legroom.
Rarely seen on other airlines’ single-aisle aircraft, all economy seats on Starlux planes feature high-quality leather headrests. By adding these new headrests, passengers will not need to bring their own neck pillows.
On top of the well-thought-out seats, each passenger gets a large entertainment screen, USB port, earphones and, unlike many other airlines, free WiFi.
Designworks is owned by BMW
When speaking about the new seats in a press release, Design Director at Designworks Shanghai studio, Nils Uellendahl said:
“It is an extremely rare opportunity to be able to collaborate with a new airline to bring a modern luxury approach into aviation. We design with a human-centric, systems approach; our overarching goal was to create memorable comfort experiences and a feeling of ‘being at home’ – we believe, then, passengers will feel at ease and truly relaxed.”
Adding to Mr. Uellendahl’s comments Designworks President, Holger Hampf said:
“With our unique portfolio and deep understanding of the Asian market, Designworks is an excellent partner for STARLUX, a startup company that also has connectivity, technology, and dynamism as its core values. Future mobility for us means better human experiences. With Designworks’ holistic design approach, we were able to come up with a concept that once again challenges the perception of aviation.”
In a world where cram them in and sell seats cheap seems to be all the rage, Starlux Airlines have gone the other way entirely and has even referred to themselves as the “Emirates of Asia.”
When flights begin tomorrow, Starlux Airlines will be the first new player in the Taiwanese aviation scene in 30 years and will be looking to upend China Airlines and EVA Air with its boutique luxury approach.
Many people have already dismissed the startup’s approach as a bad idea, but if initial ticket sales are anything to go by, the airline could be on to a winner.
Waiting until they had been approved by the local authorities, Starlux did not start selling tickets for its planned January flights until December 16th, 2019.
Tickets for the first three flights sold out in 11 minutes
When the tickets did go on sale for the service between Taipei-Macau, Taipei-Penang, and Taipei-Danang, seats on the first flights sold out within eleven minutes. When speaking about the demand for tickets with CNN, the director of STARLUX’s corporate communications division, Liwen Liu, said:
“Tickets to Macau sold out in six minutes, tickets to Danang sold out in nine and tickets to Penang sold out in 11 minutes.
“All 188 seats on each of the three flights. We’re very happy about it. We had our expectations but the response has been better than what we expected.”
At the moment, Starlux Airlines has just three Airbus A321neos, all configured with eight seats in business class and 180 seats in economy.
Here at Simple Flying we are all very excited about Starlux Airlines and wish them good luck with their amazing new product.
If you happen to be on one of the first flights tomorrow, we would love to read all about the experience in the comments section.