Starlux is keen to join Oneworld

As the Taiwanese startup spreads its wings, it sees alliance membership as a logical next step.

By David Flynn, June 17 2024
Starlux is keen to join Oneworld

Welcome to another week of “Which airline will be next to join an alliance?”.

In last week’s episode we heard how Etihad Airways may or may not join Star Alliance, or any of the Big Three airline alliances for that matter.

That followed news that Fiji Airways intends to upgrade its Oneworld status from the Oneworld Connect model to being a fully-fledged member.

And still bubbling away in the background is the high likelihood that Hawaiian Airlines will pull up a chair at the Oneworld table once the US$1.9bn takeover by Alaska Airlines is complete.

Now another airline is talking up the prospects of joining the Oneworld alliance – whose ranks are already set to swell later this year with Oman Air coming on board.

Positioned as a "detail-oriented luxury airline", Starlux was founded in mid-2018 by long-term Taiwanese aviation executive and former EVA Air chairman Chang Kuo-wei, scion of one of the island-nation's richest families with an estimated net worth of US$1.45 billion.

However, shortly after launching in January 2020, Starlux flew headlong into the Covid pandemic and was forced to rebuild its nascent network route by route.

As first reported by Executive Traveller in August 2021, Taiwan’s Starlux Airlines said “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.”

That remark was made in advance of Starlux’ expansion within Asia and North America, and ahead of growing its fleet with a new raft of long-range Airbus A350 jets sporting private business class suites.

As to which alliance Starlux would join, the answer seems obvious.

With local rivals China Airlines and EVA Air respectively belonging to SkyTeam and Star Alliance, Oneworld is the only option.

So there was little surprise to see Taiwanese media reporting that at an investor's meeting this month, Starlux called out its intention to seek membership of the Oneworld alliance.

While Oneworld itself would no doubt welcome what could be its 17th member (if we count Hawaiian Airlines as the sweet 16th), the biggest challenge in this could be how Oneworld founding member Cathay Pacific feels about welcoming Starlux into the room.

Starlux is effectively a regional rival to Cathay, which enjoys a solid share of traffic in the busy corridor between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Of course, as has been noted elsewhere, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines were rivals until they became partners, after which American backed Alaska’s application to join Oneworld, with that membership sailing through in apparently record time.

Now that Starlux has made its feelings known on the issue of joining an alliance – and specifically Oneworld – we wait to hear word from Oneworld and perhaps Cathay Pacific on where things go from here.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 408

If Starlux is going to join any alliance then yes, obviously, Oneworld would be the one, unless something happens with China Airlines or EVA. I'd be super happy to see Starlux in Oneworld, it would be great addition to the group!

I see a lot of good reports of Starlux but they are going to need an alliance behind them if they want to really grow and remain competitive. There are simply too many reasons to stick with a Star Alliance or Skyteam member airline if that's where you have your status and points, no matter how good an independent competitor is. But with JAL and CX so close, will they object to Starlux joining Oneworld?

16 Nov 2018

Total posts 28

Probably a good topic to talk about in 10 years time.

Absolutely would love to see Starlux in OneWorld, obviously this is still a few years away, if the A330s and A350s begin delivery from 2022 and that happens across the course of a few years, then we might be looking at 2025, I just hope Starlux survives until then, because Taiwan is not a big market and it already has two airlines of its own plus others like SQ and CX flying to various Taiwanese cities as well as Taipei.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 110

Notwithstanding my QFF platinum status, I revel in obtaining FF status points by flying OW partners. Given that there is some uncertainty about the membership/ partnership of Air Tahiti Nui with OW, can anyone advise ( having flown them) if I can anticipate any status points on a flight to and from Papeete?

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