DALLAS — Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (AS) has announced a new partnership with Taiwan-based carrier STARLUX (JX), which joins an already notable index of airlines that have partnerships with AS.
On Wednesday, April 26, JX became AS’ newest airline partner, bringing frequent flyers of both airlines’ new benefits. The news comes on the same day that JX launches its inaugural long-haul flight between Taipei and Los Angeles.
Today, Starlux will launch its first long-haul route joining EVA Air (BR)and China Airlines (CI) on the lucrative route between Los Angeles International (LAX) and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE). Initially, JX will operate five weekly flights using one of the carrier’s three Airbus A350-900s.
These aircraft are configured in a four-class layout which includes four first-class suites, 26 business class seats, 36 seats in premium economy, and 240 seats in economy. At the time of writing the article, the inaugural flight JX002 departed TPE on time at 2:30 PM and will arrive at LAX on time at 11:00 AM.
The Taipei-based carrier is a startup luxury airline that commenced operations in January with multiple routes to destinations across Asia. However, the pandemic caused the airline to delay its entry into the U.S. market. Initially, JX wanted to launch flights to the United States in June 2022 before postponing it to a date in the first quarter of 2023, which was pushed back to April 2023.
Thus, in accord with the launch of flights to Los Angeles, JX and AS have announced their partnership which made the American airline JX’s first airline partner. The partnership between the two airlines will mostly consist of loyalty benefits. Starting on April 26, travelers can credit any flight on JX to their Alaska Mileage Plan account, and Alaska Mileage Plan members will soon be able to redeem miles on JX. However, the airlines will not be offering codeshares to increase connectivity between them.
Over the past few weeks, there have been rumors that the Taiwanese carrier may be attempting to join the oneworld Alliance. Partnering with AS would definitely help Starlux’s case, as Alaska joined the alliance in March 2021.
With JX’s new flight to Los Angeles, the airline will open a new international gateway through its hub in Taipei for travelers. The airline currently serves 16 destinations across Asia in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan. JX currently operates 13 Airbus A321neos, four Airbus A330neos, and two Airbus A350s. By 2025, the airline fleet will grow to 39 aircraft.
Comments from Alaska, STARLUX Officials
Nat Pieper, senior vice president of fleet, finance, and alliances at Alaska Airlines, commented, “STARLUX is a premier global airline offering world-class service and amenities. We’re proud to be their first airline partner…Our guests will love flying on STARLUX, connecting the West Coast, Taipei, and many more incredible places in Asia. We’re thrilled to offer our loyal Mileage Plan members another exciting way to see the world.”
STARLUX CEO Glenn Chai commented, “STARLUX Airlines has marked a successful three-year operation of our Asian routes, revolutionizing the aviation industry with our exceptional service and an innovative cabin design that has been highly commended by passengers. In a new milestone, we launched our inaugural flight to Los Angeles today, offering convenient and comfortable long-haul premier services to passengers traveling to the city of Angels.
Adding, “Alaska Airlines, the fifth largest airline in the United States with a wide network covering over 100 cities across the country, is partnering with STARLUX Airlines to deliver more exquisite and convenient flights for travelers journeying between North America and Asia. The partnership will enable seamless connections for STARLUX Airlines customers traveling to destinations across the U.S., making it easier and more convenient to navigate the country’s extensive domestic air network. With this partnership, we are committed to ensuring that travelers enjoy a hassle-free journey and arrive at their final destinations feeling relaxed and refreshed.”
Featured image: Alaska Airlines’ newest global partner is STARLUX Airlines’ a350-900. Photo: Alaska Airlines