Starlux Airways, the Taipei-based boutique provider, could also be new to most U.S. vacationers, however it has lofty ambitions to grow to be a powerhouse throughout the Pacific.
With a long-awaited Los Angeles service that began in late April, it’s laying the groundwork for these targets. The airline hoped to develop to the U.S. shortly after launching in 2020, however the pandemic had different plans. This route is a significant milestone for the airline—and a boon for vacationers in search of an elevated in-flight expertise to Taipei and past. “Our Los Angeles vacation spot marks the achievement of our objective for a trans-Pacific community,” Starlux CEO Glenn Chai stated in a media occasion to commemorate the route.
Based as an organization in 2018 with its first intra-Asia flight in January 2020, by all measures, Starlux is a startup. Nonetheless, it has some severe credentials within the house. Starlux’s founder, Chang Kuo-wei is the previous chairman of EVA Air, a well-regarded provider additionally primarily based in Taipei.
In a world of newer, no-frills carriers—corresponding to Tokyo-based ZipAir or Oslo-based Norse Atlantic—Kuo-wei’s Starlux is bucking the development. The provider payments itself as a luxurious airline, even throwing across the phrase “the Emirates of Asia.” For this inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Taipei, I bought a style of what that truly meant.
Right here’s what you’ll be able to anticipate onboard Starlux Airways in long-haul enterprise class.
A Succession-style origin story—and a brand new U.S. accomplice
Not solely is founder Kuo-wei the previous chairman of EVA, however he’s additionally an esteemed pilot who holds the rank of captain for the Airbus A350 plane. (In actual fact, Kuo-wei was within the cockpit for the Starlux inaugural flight from Taipei to Los Angeles.)
Starlux’s origin story as a luxury-focused airline is an enchanting one, with a Succession-style wrestle for energy that led to its creation. Aviation runs within the household; Kuo-wei’s late father, Chang Yung-far, is the founding father of EVA. When Yung-far handed in 2016, a household battle erupted, pushing Kuo-wei out of the corporate. A mere two years later, Starlux was born. Whereas Kuo-wei says that Starlux isn’t an airline created out of revenge, the narrative is actually compelling.
As a more recent provider, Starlux isn’t a part of any main airline alliance (executives say that isn’t within the playing cards anytime quickly). Nonetheless, a partnership with Alaska Airlines was launched, at the side of the brand new Los Angeles service.
As soon as absolutely applied later this summer time, Alaska and Starlux passengers can e-book connecting flights on a single ticket. For loyalty program aficionados, Alaska miles will quickly have the ability to be redeemed on Starlux-operated flights. Extra particularly, Starlux’s Los Angeles-to-Taipei route will begin at 60,000 Alaska miles for a one-way business-class seat.
A tech-forward (and decadent) onboard expertise
The brand new Los Angeles-to-Taipei route is flown on Starlux’s four-cabin Airbus A350-900, that includes 4 seats in firstclass, 26 in enterprise, 36 in premium economic system, and 240 in economic system. Each first and enterprise are organized in a reverse herringbone format, with seats angled away from the aisle.