LONDON – Over the weekend, new Taiwanese start-up STARLUX took delivery of its maiden aircraft, an Airbus A321neo, B-58201 CN9208, which is leased from GECAS.
The aircraft was ferried from Hamburg (XFW) to Taipei (TPE), via two stopovers, one in Dubai (DWC) and one in Bangkok (BKK), after the delivery ceremony.
It arrived in Taipei on October 28, 2019. STARLUX Chairman K.W. Chang, who is also a pilot and engineer, captained the maiden aircraft on its delivery as well.
STARLUX plan to start operations in January 2020, flying from Taipei to Macau, Da Nag and Penang. STARLUX has also opted for the CFM LEAP-1A engines, over the Pratt & Whitney GTF (Geared Turbofan Engines).
STARLUX’s Airbus A321neos seat 188 passengers, in a two-class configuration, 180 in Economy and 8 in Business Class.
Each Business Class seat features a 15.6 IFE Screen and can recline into a lie-flat bed.
In Economy Class, the seat-pitch will be 31 inches, which is more than the average single-aisle aircraft and a 10.1 Inch IFE Screen. Each aircraft will also be equipped with Wi-Fi and it will be offered in both cabin classes.
STARLUX Chairman K.W. Chang “This exciting day has finally come. From the examination and test flight over the past few days, I am once again very confident that STARLUX has made the right choice in selecting the A321neo as the first member of our fleet.”
“I am sure that with the outstanding performance and the cabin configuration, it can provide the safest and cosy journey to our passengers, giving rise to new vitality to the airline industry in Taiwan”, he added.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer said, “Congratulations to STARLUX Airlines on their first-ever aircraft delivery! We are thrilled that STARLUX has selected the most efficient A321neo to start operations in Asia.”
“Our best seller will bring the highest levels of efficiency to the airline’s operations with no compromise on comfort. And with the A350 joining the fleet in 2021”, he added.
Scherer added that STARLUX will benefit from commonality by operating single aisle and widebody aircraft together offering a seamless experience for both passengers and crew.
STARLUX plans to take delivery of three more Airbus A321neo before the end of 2019 and expects to receive another six.
Deliveries will be concluded in 2021 and all will be leased from GECAS. STARLUX also has 17 Airbus A350-1000s on order, with the first delivery during the first half of 2021. They will be used to start long haul operations to Europe and North America.
It remains clear that STARLUX is aiming for rapid growth very early on in its life.
Time will tell what further routes will be announced and what sort of demand it will receive when those routes are launched over the next few years.