A new startup airline company in Taiwan, STARLUX Airlines, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus today at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 to purchase 17 A350XWBs. The order includes 12 A350-1000s and five A350-900s, which are scheduled to be delivered to STARLUX beginning in late 2021. The agreement was announced by K.W. Chang, founder and Chairman of STARLUX Airlines, Glenn Chai, President of STARLUX and Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer Airbus.
“As a pilot myself, I personally experienced the test-flight of the A350-1000. Its outstanding performance really amazed me. The A350XWB is indeed one-of-a-kind in the current market, and perfectly suited for such a geographic location as Taiwan,” Chang said. Along with the 10 A321neos STARLUX has confirmed leasing, STARLUX will be operating an all-Airbus fleet at its initial launch. At the same time, it will also be the first airline in Taiwan flying the A350-1000.
Among the 17 A350XWBs STARLUX included in this most recent order, five A350-900s equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB84 engines will be delivered beginning in late 2021. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB97 engines, the 12 A350-1000s will begin to join STARLUX’s fleet in the third quarter of 2022. The 17 A350XWBs will be deployed on STARLUX’s future transpacific routes.
STARLUX values the cutting-edge fuselage design and efficiency of the A350XWB. It is built with over 70% advanced materials, combining 53% carbon composites, titanium and modern aluminum alloys to create a lighter and more cost-efficient aircraft. With many innovative features, it boasts 25% lower operating costs, fuel burn and C02 emissions.
In addition to placing its order for A350XWBs, STARLUX has announced that it has signed an agreement with CFM International that finalizes the purchase of LEAP-1A spare engines to support the fleet of leased 10 A321neo airplanes. The airline also signed a 12-year Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement with CFM Services that covers all LEAP-1A engines powering the 10 A321neos.
STARLUX is dedicated to becoming one of the best airlines in the world, making it imperative that it flies the most advanced aircraft and equipment in the industry. “We are very glad that STARLUX has received so much support from industry-leading companies like Airbus and CFM to help us continue moving forward to our goal. Together with these outstanding partners, I am very confident that STARLUX will be able to take off in early 2020 as scheduled and shine brightly in the airline industry,” Chang said.
STARLUX has now officially confirmed the make-up of its initial fleet. The airline will begin accepting delivery of 10 Airbus A321neos in October 2019, with the 17 A350XWBs arriving in late 2021. STARLUX’s fleet is expected to include up to 27 aircraft by the end of 2024 to serve over 20 destinations in Asia and North America. To keep pace with the delivery schedule of aircraft, STARLUX is currently recruiting cadet pilots and plans to start large-scale recruitment of airport ground staff and cabin crew early next year.