Revealed: Starlux A350 First & Business Class!

Revealed: Starlux A350 First & Business Class!

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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 has 18 Airbus A350-900s on order

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 first class Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines first class Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines first class Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines first class Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines first class Airbus A350-900

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 business class Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines business class Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines business class Airbus A350-900

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 premium economy Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines premium economy Airbus A350-900

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 Airlines economy Airbus A350-900
Starlux Airlines economy Airbus A350-900

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:

The Airbus A350 cabin is now wider

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’ gorgeous fleet

Bottom line

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?

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  1. TheBestBlackBrent Gold

    Can't wait to fly this on their non-existent network!

  2. Miramar Guest

    “Starlux” sounds like the drag name of an airline known during the day as Taiwan International Airline.

  3. Mike O. Guest

    JAL will also have first class on their A351s as they'll be a 1-1 replacement for their 77Ws. I'm excited to see what they come up with. I expect an evolution of their 77W suite as well as their APEX suites. As for premium economy, probably a shell type of seat that dates back to their 744s.

  4. Dc Guest

    I don’t think that was their first class image. It looks like their business class

  5. Eskimo Guest

    Dimmable windows on their A350?

    All the pictures are still showing shades.

  6. glenn t Diamond

    Why show any photos featuring deep purple ambient lighting? It's offputing enough to disuade one from flying that airline!

  7. Austin New Member

    Somewhat related, but I love the Starlux livery on the A350. Absolutely one of the best looking aircraft.

  8. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    Please Join OneWorld already!!! Will book multiple flights THE DAY Starlux becomes available!

  9. DWT Guest

    As a oneworld flyer who is unsure about the future of CX, I would love to see Starlux join oneworld

  10. RF Guest

    The finishes look nice. Looking forward to their longhaul soft product.

  11. Jenny Guest

    Just to correct your article. Malaysian Airlines introduced 4x FC seats on their A350’s some 4-5years with a very spacious seat which has a suite door Etc. 1st class is not a new concept on A350, just this week I see Virgin introduce a game changing F/C retreat suite on an A330!

    1. Yanfei Guest

      MH F seats on A350 are the same type as VS did on their A339s, the Vantage XL Suite, which is not a true first-class seat. The difference is that MH advertised the seat as another type of product while VS didn't. The truth is accidentally there are no true F class seats like what is equipped on 77w/A380/747, which is quite odd since A350 offers similar space like 77w.

  12. S_LEE Member

    This seat is "Elements" from Collins. It's basically a refreshed gen Super Diamond.
    The first class is actually just the first row of business class cabin with modified CMF, bigger monitor, slightly less angled seat, and higher wall. It'll feel like BA first class at best, and a bit tighter than that more realistically. Under the "first class" console is the footwell of business class passenger.
    It looks like they'll segregate the first...

    This seat is "Elements" from Collins. It's basically a refreshed gen Super Diamond.
    The first class is actually just the first row of business class cabin with modified CMF, bigger monitor, slightly less angled seat, and higher wall. It'll feel like BA first class at best, and a bit tighter than that more realistically. Under the "first class" console is the footwell of business class passenger.
    It looks like they'll segregate the first and business class cabin with curtains.

  13. Scudder Diamond

    I'd call that "teased" rather than "revealed".

  14. wpr8e Guest

    "Starlux will be the first airline in Taiwan to offer first class."

    Actually China Airlines offered First Class

    1. notCCP Guest

      Actually Taiwan is not part of China. You sound hella CCP

    2. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      China Airlines is the ROC's flag carrier - not to be confused with Air China for PRC

    3. CorrectingTheFool Guest

      Do you know how silly you sound? China airlines IS a Taiwanese carrier. Air china, on the other hand, is not.

    4. Alinsfca Guest

      China Airlines based in Taiwan does not offer First Class. Don't try to confuse people with Air China which is based in China.

    5. wpr8e Guest

      The key word was "offered." China Airlines absolutely offered First in the past. So Starlux is not the first to offer first from Taiwan.

      Lucky also mentioned this would be the first airline to introduce First on the A350. I'm pretty sure Japan Airlines has First on their A350s.

    6. Stanley C Diamond

      You are absolutely correct about China Airlines offering first class in the past. I flew in that cabin before it was discontinued. Also, Eva Air had first class nearly two decades ago.

  15. Creditcrunch Diamond

    There seems to be no real difference between business and first, they should just call them business plus or business first.

    1. Max Guest

      Size matters! First class does haven an 8 inches BIGGER display. And a LARGER door, so that me and my inflated triple-platinum double-diamond frequent flyer status ego can fit through it.

    2. magice Member

      OMG thanks goodness I know the context. Maybe I have received too much spam, but "Size maters! 8 in BIGGER!" sounds... hilariously inappropriate in my head.

  16. Frog Guest

    As far as the hard product is concerned, I see little difference between First and Business. I also dont see much of a difference between PE and Economy. I guess it will come down to the soft product as well as their pricing.

  17. Jake Guest

    IMO, the first class seat looks like a glorified bulkhead business class seat and rather tight for first. I reckon the foot cubby for the first row of business is under the side console of first class, leaving first with a very small footprint, hence why they were able to fit so many seats into the plane.

    1. Bobo Bolinski Guest

      Agree 100%. Actually, looking at the photos of their "first class suite", my first impression was:"oh, somebody screwed up, that's a a photo of a cramped business class seat." Take a look at those photos!

      First class? Only marketing spin. That's a standard business class seat on American or Delta, and not a particularly good one.

      Their actual business class seats look OK, nothing special, again, they look cramped to me.

      Only people with a...

      Agree 100%. Actually, looking at the photos of their "first class suite", my first impression was:"oh, somebody screwed up, that's a a photo of a cramped business class seat." Take a look at those photos!

      First class? Only marketing spin. That's a standard business class seat on American or Delta, and not a particularly good one.

      Their actual business class seats look OK, nothing special, again, they look cramped to me.

      Only people with a door fetish will be impressed here.

  18. KATA Member

    It doesn't look like buddy seating is possible either in First Class... I'm quite disappointed.

    1. KATA Member

      I meant to say that buddy seating isn't possible either—one of my favourite things about F is the possibility to dine face-to-face.

    2. Jenny Guest

      Yes, it’s disappointing that such a highly anticipated new start up airline played it safe with an old cramped product which lacks interest or differentiation. They have to compete against EVA who already have an excellent product on their 787s! (Ps I hope they role out across the rest of their fleet)

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Luis Guest

China Airlines is based in Taiwan

10
tipsyinmadras Diamond

China Airlines is the ROC's flag carrier - not to be confused with Air China for PRC

8
Stanley C Diamond

You are absolutely correct about China Airlines offering first class in the past. I flew in that cabin before it was discontinued. Also, Eva Air had first class nearly two decades ago.

6
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