DALLAS – Taiwanese carrier STARLUX Airlines (JX) is about to take a significant step closer to fulfilling its goal of establishing long-haul links from its base at Taipei Taoyuan (TPE).
STARLUX is due to accept delivery of its first Airbus 350-900 in October, with the type due to take to the sky in April next year. The carrier’s initial long-haul offering will be to Los Angeles (LAX), but it has lofty ambitions to serve numerous destinations in both the United States and Europe.
As reported by news outlet Focus Taiwan, JX spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei briefed the media following a recent shareholders’ meeting and confirmed that a total of eight new aircraft are due to be added to the carrier’s fleet by the end of this year.
Kuo-wei added that a further six aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2023. At the time of writing JX fields a fleet of nine Airbus 321 Neo aircraft and three Airbus 330-900 aircraft, with the first example of the latter joining in February of this year.
The airline began operations shortly before the pandemic’s onset in January 2020, and with Taiwan implementing some of the strictest protocols for international travel, the airline delayed the launch of its long-haul network.
The carrier has cautiously expanded its regional route network, most recently announcing Okinawa (OKA) and New Chitose Airport (CTS), which serves the Sapporo metropolitan area. JX anticipates a significant increase in demand for travel to Japan in anticipation of the Japanese government relaxing inbound travel restrictions to the country.
In an interesting twist, the airline has previously stated its intention to offer a First Class product on their A350-900 aircraft, which will be a notable departure from many airlines who have chosen to discontinue their First Class offering entirely. JX is currently keeping its cards close to its chest, and little is known about this cabin. Cabin designs have been inspired by Designworks, the BMW Group’s design innovation studio.
According to the airline, more collaborations of this type are possible as the airline strives to differentiate its offering in order to compete in the aggressive premium segment of the Far East market.
Featured Image: STARLUX initially placed orders for both the Airbus 350-900 and 100 variants (as pictured) before adjusting all orders to the 900 variant. Photo: Airbus.