In April 2023, Taiwan-based Starlux Airlines finally launched flights to the United States, as the airline added a route to Los Angeles. The airline has now put tickets on sale for its second route to the United States.
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Starlux Airlines will fly to San Francisco
Starlux Airlines will start flying between Taipei (TPE) and San Francisco (SFO) as of December 2023. The flight will operate with the following schedule:
JX12 Taipei to San Francisco departing 11:30PM arriving 6:15PM
JX11 San Francisco to Taipei departing 11:40PM arriving 5:30AM (+2 days)
The flight will initially operate 3x weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays), and then will operate daily as of March 31, 2024. The 6,469-mile flight is blocked at 13hr50min westbound and 10hr45min eastbound.
Starlux will use an Airbus A350-900 for all of its routes to the United States. Starlux has 18 Airbus A350-900s on order, and has already taken delivery of three of these jets. Starlux’s A350-900s feature 306 seats, spread across four cabins, including:
- Four first class seats
- 26 business class seats
- 36 premium economy seats
- 240 economy class seats
Starlux is the first airline in Taiwan to offer first class. A350s 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 A350s 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 A350s 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 A350s feature 240 economy seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration. Economy seats feature 13-inch 4K screens with bluetooth audio.
Tickets for this route are now on sale
Starlux Airlines has just put tickets on sale for its route between Taipei and San Francisco, so you can book this directly on Starlux Airlines’ website, or through your preferred online travel agency.
Keep in mind that Starlux Airlines and Alaska Airlines have a partnership, which even offers reciprocal mileage redemption opportunities. When this partnership first launched, we saw amazing award pricing between the United States and Taipei, as you could book business class for just 60,000 miles one-way.
Unfortunately about a day later, that introductory pricing disappeared, and for a long time, business class started at just 165,000 miles one-way, which is very steep.
However, with the new route between Taipei and San Francisco now being on sale, I’m seeing many dates where business class is bookable for just 75,000 miles one-way. Most space seems to be bookable at this price for travel next spring and summer. If this fits into your travel plans, this is an awesome opportunity. I can’t imagine it’ll last long, so I’d recommend booking ASAP.
Starlux Airlines faces stiff competition
I’m a huge fan of Starlux Airlines’ commitment to offering a great passenger experience, though I can’t help but wonder how successful Starlux will be. Starlux is essentially duplicating routes operated by Taiwan’s two other global airlines — China Airlines and EVA Air — as both airlines also fly to Los Angeles and San Francisco. I can’t think of anywhere other than Taipei where you have three global airlines that share the same sole hub.
While Starlux has a great product, the airline also has some disadvantages. Starlux’s route network is much smaller than those of competitors, Starlux isn’t part of one of the global alliances (yet), and Starlux also has steep pricing.
I suppose the airline shouldn’t be struggling too much right now, given the limited capacity in Asia, due to mainland Chinese carriers not being able to operate many international routes. But still, in the long run it seems like Starlux might have an uphill battle.
Starlux Airlines will add flights to San Francisco as of December 2023, with flights initially operating 3x weekly, before operating daily as of March 2024. Seattle is expected to be Starlux’s next destination, with service launching at some point in 2024. It’s nice to see Starlux expanding service to the United States, and I’m looking forward to flying with the airline soon.
What do you make of Starlux Airlines’ plans to launch SFO service?