Taiwan's Starlux eyes flights to Australia

The airline's forthcoming A330neo fleet could be just the ticket to begin flights down under.

By David Flynn, November 12 2020
Taiwan's Starlux eyes flights to Australia

Starlux Airlines is planning to spread its wings across Asia and to North America, and Australia could also find its way onto that list.

The Taiwanese start-up, which describes itself as a "detail-oriented luxury airline", launched only in January this year with a handful of short-range routes spearing out from its Taipei base, featuring Airbus A321neo jets fitted with lie-flat business class seats.

Starlux's A321neo business class seats.
Starlux's A321neo business class seats.

Starlux is now mapping out the launch of long-range flights, ahead of the delivery of new Airbus A350 jets at the end of 2021.

The US figures large in its trans-Pacific network, with approval now received from Taiwan’s aviation authority for up to 15 destinations: among them Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York and Washington DC.

Starlux has bold plans for its Airbus A350 fleet.
Starlux has bold plans for its Airbus A350 fleet.

The cities which make the cut from that laundry list will be visited by Starlux's 18-strong fleet of A350-900 and A350-1000 jets, which will sport both business class and first class, from early 2022.

Starlux Chief Public Relations Officer Nie Kuo-Wei flagged that several important factors will shape that ambitious expansion schedule, including the final delivery timeline for the A350s.

However, Starlux has also signed on the dotted line for eight A330neo jets: a more efficient and modern version of the popular A330 'classic' flown here by Qantas and until recently Virgin Australia, as well as Asian stalwarts Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Malaysia Airlines.

Starlux will also take delivery of eight medium-range A330neo jets.
Starlux will also take delivery of eight medium-range A330neo jets.

The first of the A330-900neo jets is due in late 2021, and could encompass flights to Australia.

A spokesperson for Starlux confirmed to Executive Traveller that its A330neo destinations "are still under evaluation", and a decision on whether not the airline will fly to Australia has not yet been made.

Australia's east coast capitals are already served by Taiwan's China Airlines and EVA Air, and Qantas has recently flagged the possibility of launching direct flights to Taipei should an Australia-Taiwan travel bubble open up.

Also read: Qantas faces tough competition on flights to Taipei

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Considering the delivery date of end of 2021, any inertia from the attractiveness of travel bubble between Taiwan and Australia would be lost as the incumbent China Air (or whatever it will call itself) and EVA will take advantage of that, with a possible play for it by QF (relying on Australian loyalty), so Starlux premium clientele will be the new rich and up-and-coming from Taiwan while trying to attract Australian pax

16 Nov 2018

Total posts 23

Rich CEO spending large there on new aircraft. Wouldn't mind giving it a go. Their A320 product looks nice.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Mar 2018

Total posts 61

Doesn't he have control of EVA AIr right now? If so, I expect MOST routes to be taken over by Starlux, the arguably superior brand name. I think he should acquire Starflyer whenever ANA feels ready to sell, to be the LCC. 

I'm sure the regulatory authorities will find EVA Air UNI Air a bit uncomfortable in Taiwan where Cathay United Bank exists, and its name is EVA Air's Mandarin name. It has to be more neutral.


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