Starlux Airlines is celebrating its first flight to the United States. The Taipai-based carrier embarked on the journey with the next-generation Airbus A350-900 jet with plans to launch flights to San Francisco by the end of this year.
The Airbus A350 was almost at its capacity of 306 passengers on today’s flight, which just touched down in Los Angeles. Starlux Airlines is the only Taiwanese airline company now offering first-class seats, and the company plans to increase its service on the Taipei-Los Angeles route to daily in June, up from the current five weekly roundtrip flights.
Starlux, Taiwan’s newest full-service airline, announced its Los Angeles route last month. The carrier first launched flights in 2020 and now serves 16 destinations across Asia, including Tokyo, Bangkok, Macau, Hanoi, Singapore, and Sapporo. The all-Airbus operator competes against the island’s existing mainline carriers of China Airlines and EVA Air,
On its 1,189th day of operations, the airline finally made its transpacific dream a reality. The aircraft, registered as B-58503, is one of the newest widebodies in the world. This debut flight departed at 14:32 today from runway 05R of Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), bound for Los Angeles International Airport in the United States. The Chief Executive Officer of Starlux Airlines, Genn Chai, celebrated the achievement:
“In a new milestone, we launched our inaugural flight to Los Angeles today, offering convenient and comfortable long-haul premier services to passengers traveling to the city of angels.”
The aircraft touched down at our airport of the month, Los Angeles International Airport, this morning at 10:54 after 9 hours and 49 minutes of flight.
The new link is unsurprisingly operated by the carrier’s brand-new Airbus A350-900 widebody aircraft. The aircraft is configured in four cabin classes for 306 seats, four in first class, 26 in business class, 36 in premium economy, and 240 in economy class. The carrier’s A350 is also the only one to feature personal suites with sliding doors in first class and business class, and its ambient lighting has three seasonal themes: Lunar New Year, White Christmas, and Moon Festival.
There are currently five roundtrips per week, with flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until the end of May. Beginning in June, the frequency will rise to daily. The flight is overnight in both directions due to the aircraft crossing the international dateline and arriving in Califonia “earlier” than its departure time.
Starlux Airlines presently has two Airbus A350-900s out of an expected eighteen widebodies.
The airline has long stated its ambitions in the North American market and continues to pressure Airbus to deliver its outstanding planes swiftly. Accompanying today’s flight to LAX, the carrier announced a partnership with Alaska Airlines to allow all Mileage Plan frequent flyer program members to earn miles on all Starlux flights.
The LAX to Taipai market is currently quite crowded, with up to six daily flights since this new entry. EVA Air (Star Alliance) and China Airlines (SkyTeam) both carriers offer at least double-daily flights with Boeing 777s or an Airbus A350 on behalf of China Airlines.
Starlux next is looking to fly into New York City following its San Fransisco launch, Starlux CEO Chai confirmed this week. In addition to its initial long-haul focus on North America, the carrier plans to fly to Europe and Australia.