By Kalai Raajan
STARLUX receives its first A350-900
At the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, STARLUX Airlines (SJX) received its first A350-900 today. The delivery ceremony was presided over by STARLUX Airlines Chairman K.W. Chang and CEO Glenn Chai, who were both delighted to celebrate the new accomplishment. Chang traveled to Toulouse to take part in the delivery process and personally fly the brand-new A350-900 (B-58501 Callsign) back to Taiwan. On October 29 at 15:30 local time, the plane is expected to touch down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
“This delivery is a milestone for STARLUX Airlines. The A350-900 is our first large widebody aircraft, which will allow STARLUX to open markets for longer routes, and this also marks the next step in our partnership with Airbus, with 17 more A350s deliveries in the future. With the addition of the A350-900, the STARLUX fleet now can cover short, mid, and long-range flights, providing service to passengers outside Asia,” said STARLUX Chairman.
The B-58501 is the first of the 18 A350s that STARLUX has ordered, and it will be put into service in January 2023 following the necessary approvals and crew training. Another A350-900 will be added to the fleet this year. The A350-900 will begin operations to Los Angeles in April 2023 after initially serving major cities in the Asia-Pacific area.
Details on STARLUX’s A350s
The largest of Rolls-famed Royce’s Trent series and the most effective large aero engine currently in service, the Trent XWB engines are used to power the A350-900. The engine is uniquely developed and tuned for the Airbus A350 family, which helps the aircraft’s entire noise footprint be reduced and results in a 25% gain in fuel efficiency. The airline has strengthened its relationship with Rolls-Royce by signing a long-term TotalCare servicing deal for all A350 aircraft equipped with the jet engine manufacturer, similar to the agreement it already has for its fleet of A330neos.
STARLUX’s A350 is the first A350 to offer First Class around the world. The new A350-900 for STARLUX has a cabin that is 4 inches wider and 35 inches longer than other A350s currently in operation, providing extra space for passengers in all classes as well as larger galleys for the cabin crew. The aircraft also has the most recent electrically dimmable windows, blocking 99.99% of visible light and switching twice as quickly as the previous version.
STARLUX’s aircraft is the very first A350 to put these new windows into service. Moreover, STARLUX is also the first airline to install dynamic secant luminous panels on an A350. At two gateways and the very end of Business Class, there are three motion panels that display various ceramic shapes with leaves elongating to help passengers feel at home. The STARLUX cabins can be configured with ambient lighting depending on the stage of the flight because the A350-900 will fly long-distance routes.
Four seats are available in First Class, 26 in Business Class, 36 in Premium Economy Class, and 240 in Economy Class on the premium four-class aircraft.
- The 60-inch door wall used in First Class suites allows for a private space for each guest on board. To store luggage, a personal wardrobe is available.
- A 48-inch door and a warm lamp can be found on the Business Class seats. Both First and Business Class seats can be converted into fully lie-flat beds, and they also include a “zero gravity” feature to provide further comfort and relaxation.
- A leg rest and footrest bar have been added to the specifically built Premium Economy Class seats. Each seat’s thickness has been decreased to prevent leg numbness in Economy Class, and it has been reconfigured with a distinctive S-shape to allow for additional legroom.
The onboard entertainment of the A350 has been enhanced. Each seat in First Class features a 32-inch 4K screen, while Business Class passengers may enjoy a 4K resolution on a 24-inch screen. With a 15.6-inch or a 13-inch screen, respectively, travelers in Premium Economy Class and Economy Class may also enjoy 4K resolution.
STARLUX collaborated with Airbus and a production crew to use Airbus test flights as an opportunity to capture an air-to-air video of all three models in flight in order to celebrate both the addition of the third Airbus flight model to its fleet and the delivery of the first A350-900 to STARLUX. In recent years, only STARLUX has completed a formation flight with all three of its Airbus models, the A321neo, A330neo, and A350.
Views by Top Aviation Executives
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International said: “With an all-new generation, all-Airbus fleet, STARLUX is bringing new levels of comfort and efficiency to the premium market. As the flagship aircraft in this fleet, the A350-900 will carry the airline’s brand on its longest routes as it opens up to new markets. We wish the airline every success as it spreads its wings to more destinations across the world.”
Ewen McDonald, Chief Customer Officer, Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, said: “We would like to congratulate STARLUX on taking delivery of their first A350 passenger aircraft, which is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 engines. This delivery builds on our partnership with STARLUX who earlier this year took delivery of their first A330neo, which is also powered by our Trent 7000 engines. We look forward to further supporting STARLUX to maximize its fleet performance and achieve operational excellence. We thank STARLUX for their trust in Rolls-Royce, and we will continue our commitment to providing reliable power and world-class service to help STARLUX fly higher and further.”
STARLUX’s Future Plans
The Airbus A350-delivery 900’s has marked the beginning of a new phase for STARLUX. After tomorrow’s expected delivery of A321neo B58211, STARLUX will have eleven A321neos, four A330neos, and one A350-900. As STARLUX is ready to start service to markets outside of Asia, another delivery of two A321neos and an extra A350-900 will be made by the end of the year, increasing the company’s capacity. As more aircraft are prepared for delivery and the Taiwanese border reopens, STARLUX will be able to serve more passengers in style and expand its network with the highest effectiveness.