New kid on the block, Taiwanese start-up Starlux Airlines, took delivery of its first A321neo on Friday at Airbus’s Hamburg factory. The aircraft, registration number B-58201, is the first of 10 A321neos the airline plans to use. It’s launch network focuses on Southeast Asian destinations, commencing with flights to Da Nang, Macau, and Penang in January 2020.
While talking about the new Airbus, company chairman and founder K.W. Chang, who is also a pilot, said that he was amazed by not only the performance of the plane but also by its overall cabin design.
The A321neo will make two stops on route to Taiwan
Departing Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW) at around 09:25 this morning, the aircraft will make stops in Dubai and Bangkok. It will finally arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) at around lunchtime on October 28th, according to information posted on Facebook.
Powered by two CFM International Leap-1A engines, StarLux Airlines Airbus A321neo will be configured in a two-class business and economy layout.
Starlux will be the first Taiwanese airline to offer lie-flat seats on a narrowbody jet
While the airline has not yet revealed how many seats the new A321neos will have, we can assume that they will be going for quality rather than quantity, given their business plan. Designed in Munich at BMW’s Designworks studio, the StarLux Airlines business class seats will convert into an 82 inch flatbed with privacy dividers and a 15.6-inch entertainment screen.
Business class seats in a narrowbody jet that lie flat is a first for any Taiwanese airline. It shows clearly the type of customer Starlux Airlines is targeting.
Economy seats will be upholstered in bright natural colours and have an ultra-thin back that helps increase legroom. Every seat comes with a headrest reminiscent of long-haul carriers, and an individual 10.1-inch entertainment screen with free WiFi for all passengers.
Starlux Airlines is not going to be a low-cost airline
Starlux Airlines is also looking to recreate a time when flying was a stylish, futuristic affair by outfitting its flight attendants in uniforms that reflect accents from the 1940s and 50s. One unusual step StarLux has decided to take is for pilots to wear baseball caps rather than the traditional hats you normally see on duty.
Founded by Former EVA Air boss Chang Kuo-Wei, StarLux Airlines has big ambitions. It thinks that it will be able to offer a better service to the flying public than it’s main competitors EVA Air and China Airlines. Starlux has a goal of offering flights from Taipei to North America starting in 2022.
While at the Farnborough Airshow in 2018, StarLux Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 12 Airbus A350-1000s and five A350-900s. When talking about the A350 orders, Chang Kuo-Wei is quoted by KNaviation as saying:
“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.”
I have to say I like Starlux Airlines’ ambitious plans and particularly the free WiFi, which I feel should be available on all airlines free of charge. The idea of stepping back to a time when flying was not just about getting there, but the experience itself is something I like very much and hope will prove to be successful.
What do you think about the Starlux Airlines business plan? Please let us know in the comments.