Taiwan-based Starlux Airlines recently took delivery of its first of 18 Airbus A350-900s, which the airline will use for long haul flights (with the first long haul destination being LAX, expected as of April 2023). Up until now we haven’t known what the interiors of these jets would look like, though. Fortunately the wait is finally over — Starlux has revealed its A350 cabins!
Starlux Airlines Airbus A350-900 configuration
Starlux Airlines’ Airbus A350-900s will be in a four class configuration, featuring first class, business class, premium economy, and economy. A350s will have a total of 306 seats, including:
- Four first class seats
- 26 business class seats
- 36 premium economy seats
- 240 economy class seats
The airline has released the first pictures of these seats. Note that exact details largely remain limited, especially surrounding inflight service. So as of now we only have so much to go off of.
Starlux Airlines first class A350
Starlux will be the first airline in Taiwan to offer first class. A350s will feature four first class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. First class suites feature 60-inch doors and privacy partitions, 32-inch 4K screens with bluetooth audio, zero-gravity seat settings, and personal wardrobes for storing luggage.
Starlux Airlines business class A350
Starlux A350s will feature 26 business class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. Business class seats feature 48-inch doors and privacy partitions, 24-inch 4K screens with bluetooth audio, and zero-gravity seat settings.
Starlux Airlines premium economy A350
Starlux A350s will feature 36 premium economy seats, in a 2-4-2 configuration. Premium economy seats feature leg rests and footrest bars, and 15.6-inch 4K screens with bluetooth audio.
Starlux Airlines economy A350
Starlux A350s will feature 240 economy seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration. Economy seats feature 13-inch 4K screens with bluetooth audio.
Starlux first airline to have new-style Airbus A350 cabins
Even beyond Starlux Airlines’ specific seat choices, it’s worth noting that the airline is the launch customer for two major A350 innovations:
- Starlux is the first airline to have dimmable windows on the A350 (like you’ll find on the 787), rather than having window shades you manually pull up and down
- Starlux is the first airline to have Airbus’ slightly larger A350 cabin, which is 4-inches wider and 35-inches longer; while some airlines will no doubt introduce 10-abreast seating as a result of this, it looks like Starlux is offering a nine-abreast configuration
My take on Starlux Airlines’ A350 cabins
I had the chance to fly Starlux Airlines business class on an A321neo shortly after the airline launched, and I can’t wait to fly with the airline on a long haul flight. This is such a spectacular little airline, with such a passion for providing a great experience.
So, what’s my take on Starlux’s A350 cabins? Let me start by saying that we don’t yet have all the details, because as of now we just have a couple of close-in shots of each cabin, which doesn’t give you much context for overall space and comfort.
My initial thought is that I’m pleasantly surprised by some things, and a bit disappointed by others. A few thoughts, in no particular order:
- The cabin finishes look spectacular, and clearly a lot of thought was put into them; I think this will be one of the most elegant plane interiors out there
- Starlux is the only airline to formally have first class on the A350 (though Lufthansa and Air France will also be introducing first class on the jet soon, and Malaysia Airlines has Business Suites, which were initially marketed as first class)
- Unfortunately the first class hard product looks underwhelming, mighty similar to British Airways’ 787 first class; it looks more to me like a premium business class that efficiently takes advantage of the space in the front row, rather than a true first class
- There’s not a curtain between first and business class, further giving first class a premium business class feel; I suspect the 30 first & business class seats will be located entirely between the first and second set of doors
- Business class looks to me like either Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats with doors (what you’ll find on the A350s operated by British Airways and Etihad Airways), or maybe Safran Versa seats with doors (also Air France’s new 777 business class); this is an excellent hard product
- Premium economy looks totally fine/unremarkable
- If economy is in fact in a 3-3-3 configuration (which I believe it is, based on the renderings), this should be one of the most comfortable economy cabins out there, given that this is the first plane to feature the wider A350 cabin
All-in-all, there’s nothing earth shattering here. The cabins look nice, but it’s Starlux’s soft product that really sets the airline apart. I can’t wait to fly Starlux on a long haul flight — now if only the airline had some partners for redeeming points!
Starlux Airlines has unveiled its Airbus A350 cabins. The planes will be in a four class configuration, meaning the airline will be introducing first class. While the first class hard product doesn’t look cutting edge, I trust the soft product will be very good. Meanwhile Starlux seems to have a very good business class seat.
It’s also noteworthy that Starlux Airlines is the first airline to feature Airbus’ new cabin innovations, including dimmable windows and a wider fuselage. This should make for a comfortable ride in economy, given the 3-3-3 layout.
What do you make of Starlux Airlines’ A350 cabins?