Starlux Airlines expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A330neo jet in February 2022, following its 'maiden flight' by Airbus in December 2021.
The Taiwanese start-up, which launched only in January 2020 against incumbents China Airlines and EVA Air, plans for its eight next-gen A330neo aircraft to blanket premium routes across south-east Asia.
The twin-aisle A330neo jets will complement the single-aisle A321neo fleet, while the larger Airbus A350s will eventually spread their wings to North America.
A spokesman for Starlux Airlines confirmed the February 2022 date to Executive Traveller, and advised that the A330neo jets would arrive in a two-class configuration of business and economy, without a premium economy cabin.
The economy seat will be Recaro's CL3710, shown below.
The seat includes a fold-down shelf for items such as reading glasses and smartphones, a six-way adjustable headrest with neck support, and an integrated screen up to 13".
As for Starlux' A330neo business class, that's yet to be revealed – although the seat is believed not to be from Recaro's catalogue, and is tipped to be identical between the A330neo and the A350.
The 18 Airbus A350s – an order split between the A350-900 and A350-1000 – will also boast a compact first class cabin, although this could be more of a ‘business plus’ design which makes the most of the extra legroom and privacy available at the front row of the cabin.
As the Taiwanese startup spreads its wings, it could even join the Oneworld alliance to strengthen its position against Star Alliance rivals EVA Air and Singapore Airlines, and SkyTeam member China Airlines.
"We are a new airline in the beginning stages of development, so it is still too early for us to join an alliance," Starlux' Chief Communications Officer KW Nieh tells Executive Traveller.
"However, once we have reached a certain level of growth, we will certainly become a member of an alliance to provide more convenience to our passengers."
Also read: Could Starlux join the Oneworld alliance?