Starlux Airlines’ A350s Will Feature First Class!!!

Filed Under: Other Airlines

There’s not much to get excited about nowadays when it comes to the passenger experience. About the best news is hearing that airlines are increasing provisioning of hand sanitizer, or selling nuts directly to consumers.

Well, leave it to Starlux Airlines, Taiwan’s new luxury airline, to make an announcement that’s worth getting excited about.

Starlux Airlines will introduce first class

Starlux Airlines is Taiwan’s awesome new “detail oriented luxury airline,” and it launched operations at the beginning of the year. The airline was founded by the former CEO of EVA Air, and it’s extremely well funded (which is needed in this environment).

I had the chance to fly Starlux Airlines earlier this year between Taipei and Penang, and had a phenomenal flight. The airline launched operations with Airbus A321neos, as the airline has 10 of these on order. These feature personal televisions at all seats, and fully flat beds in business class.

Starlux Airlines’ A321neo cabin

The airline has big expansion plans, as Starlux Airlines also has 17 Airbus A350s on order, including:

  • Nine A350-900s
  • Eight A350-1000s

Starlux Airlines A350s

Starlux is expected to take delivery of its first A350 in the fourth quarter of 2021, so we’re just over a year from that happening.

There’s some exciting news on that front — Starlux Airlines has today revealed that its A350s will feature first class!

So far no exact details have been announced about what the first class will be like, but it’s expected that more will be revealed before the end of 2020.

This is kind of surprising, and awesome

I was looking forward to Starlux Airlines’ A350s before the first class announcement (especially as I’m a Starlux COSMILE Insighter member), but this is even more exciting:

  • China Airlines and EVA Air both offer phenomenal business class products, so I’d expect Starlux Airlines will one-up them even in business class; I’d expect the soft and hard product to be on par with Qatar Airways Qsuites, if not better
  • I’m sure there will be a significant difference between first and business class, since again, Starlux Airlines is a detail oriented luxury airline 😉
  • It’s especially cool to see the commitment Starlux Airlines has to first class in light of the current pandemic, as we may see several airlines either eliminate first class altogether, or at least significantly scale back its footprint due to aircraft retirements

Starlux Airlines Lounge at Taipei Taoyuan Airport

Will Starlux Airlines have partnerships?

While Starlux Airlines has its own frequent flyer program, here’s to hoping that there will be more opportunities to earn and redeem miles on the airline going forward.

Once the airline launches long haul operations to the US, it sure would be cool to see the Starlux COSMILE program become a partner with a transferable points currency.

One also has to wonder if Starlux Airlines will develop partnerships beyond that, or maybe even join an alliance:

  • EVA Air is a Star Alliance member and China Airlines is a SkyTeam member, so Starlux definitely wouldn’t join either of those alliances
  • That just leaves oneworld, though it seems fairly likely that Cathay Pacific may not be onboard with Starlux joining, given that they’ll largely be competing for long haul traffic
  • Maybe we could see one-off partnerships with airlines like Air Canada, given that Aeroplan has added several non-alliance partnerships (including with Azul, Etihad, Vistara, etc.)

The point is, here’s to hoping there are lucrative ways to redeem partner miles for travel in Starlux Airlines first & business class.

Bottom line

While the pandemic has had horrible impacts on global aviation, I’m happy to hear that Starlux Airlines still plans to move forward with wide body aircraft as of late 2021. The airline will even install first class.

Suffice to say that I can’t wait to see what Starlux’s long haul product will be like, in both first and business class.

What are you expecting from Starlux Airlines’ A350 first & business class?

Comments
  1. I can’t believe Taiwan’s getting THREE top-mark airlines. The United States could never. Wonder whose market share they’ll be eating at? EVA obviously has the cargo backing, and China Airlines enjoy strong support and recognition from Southeast Asians going to the United States. Is there enough room for a 3rd full-service airline? Here’s to wishing them the best of luck. I hope to one day sample their product to/from London

  2. Good for them – culture there really likes the finer points of this as seen by the sold out flights to nowhere with good catering

  3. Anyone else think Starlux Airlines sounds like one of those fake airlines from movies that involve a hijacking or a crash?

  4. After Japan, Taiwan really has the best “airline” culture. Respectful passengers, good service, and good food. Will definitely try Starlux when im back in Taiwan.

  5. Three airlines for such a small country? Damn. SEA doesn’t need to go to taiwan for transit anymore. PH and SIN can go direct. Vietnam will soon go direct too and thai as well once faa stop being a jerk. That leaves you with the poorer country like myanmar, cambodia and laos with very few demand to US and indo and malaysia who probably would rather go thru singapore and korea (due to k culture). And of course we have china than will sell cheap tickets. Man, with more competition i hope prices for transpacific route remain low like precovid.

  6. @EthFlyer – Respectful passengers? I don’t think you’ve ever flown economy from Taiwan then. The locals are like panicking lost sheep. I loathe flying with Taiwanese, as every time it seems like the airport and plane is full of first time flyers, which surely can’t be possible? Sure, they won’t cause a fight or get hammered, but they’re guaranteed to be out of their seat and rushing to get their bags as soon as the plane has touched down.
    That said, the Taiwanese airlines are pretty decent, although EVA seems to be copying the US airlines more and more these days, which sucks.
    Looking forward to trying Starlux though.

  7. About time to hear some good airline news!
    I thought this covid pandemic was going to end first class for all airlines!
    Thanks for the good news
    ,

    !

  8. This is excellent news — a definite pick-me-up. I hope to fly them long haul within a few years. It will be interesting to see who their competition shakes out to be. Taiwan is definitely a magical place.

  9. The catchment for Starlux is huge and not limited to Taiwan as many seem to imagine. With the right marketing and product I predict a premium-heavy Starlux will be a runaway success!
    Can’t really see it joining one of the Big 3 alliances, but selective partnerships with some other airlines would make sense given its expansion plans.

  10. ï¼ DeN
    It’s the real China; mainland China is currently occupied by an illegitimate totalitarian regime.

  11. Ben, I may be missing something, but why would Cathay Pacific, One World member, and based in HKG be concerned about an airline based in Taipei?

  12. @David

    Are you implying so-called liberal democracy is less competent than the commies. If not, why would they be driven to that tiny island.

  13. @Jkjkjk Actually, Taiwan doesn’t need any transfer flights. Taiwan is ranked in the top 10 for citizens visiting abroad. The Taiwanese are also one of the top spenders overseas. (Which is impressive, when you compare the population of Taiwan to that of “mainland” China). That’s why Miami is so interested in getting a direct flight from Taipei. That’s also why Starlux flights have been selling out so quickly.

  14. @David,
    The founder of Taiwan’s present government, the KMT lost the civil war. Confederate states lost the civil war and accepted their lost and became one United States of America. Meanwhile, KMT lost the civil war and refused to join the CPC and tried to gain independence. There’s a reason why only handful countries recognize Taiwan as independent government. Loser of civil war should admit their defeat, just like south vietnam or east germany or the confederate states.

    @john,
    Taiwan economy have been growing very slowly compared to other asian tigers like Korea or Singapore. On transpacific route a huge chunk of EVA or CI passengers are south east asian so yes, they rely on transit traffic for long haul flights. Can you cite the foreign travel pattern of taiwanese? As far as i know, the hongkies and singaporeans are the most travelled people in asia and taiwan is nowhere to be found and for biggest spender, we know who it is. Even the third largest economy in the world, Japan, only have two major airlines and so is Korea…

  15. @Moore Phlem
    While it would have been preferable to be wearing gloves, Asian flight attendants are normally meticulous about hygiene and sanitation, so they typically use hand sanitizers often. Besides, how often does COVID-19 get spread through sanitized hands handling foods? Are we being overly paranoid about such finer details?

  16. I think that Starlux would use rockwell collins seats:
    Oasis for first class and Super diamond or Diamond for business class. For economy would use the aspire or Pinnacle model.
    If Starlux plans to put premium economy seats in the future, they could use the MiQ

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