Back in October, I wrote about Starlux Airlines receiving its first aircraft – an Airbus A321neo. As its second aircraft is getting ready for delivery, the airline has announced additional details about its initial set of routes as well as onboard service.
Starlux Airlines plans to launch scheduled services on January 23, 2020, and plans to start selling tickets for those flights tomorrow, December 16, 2019.
Starlux Airlines’ Three Initial Routes
While long-term, Starlux Airlines has plans to start connecting Taipei with North America using Airbus A350s, in the beginnings, it will focus on regional flights within Asia using a fleet of ten A321neos. The airline will start with flights to three destinations: Macau, Penang in Malaysia, and Da Nang in Vietnam.
While all three of the routes will launch on January 23, 2020, flight JX201 departing Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) bound for Macau (MFM) will have the distinction of being the airline’s very first scheduled flight due to its early departure time.
The route to Macau will be the airline’s shortest one and will operate three times a day (keep in mind that on some days the schedules for all three routes vary by a few minutes):
- JX201 / TPE – MFM / 7:25AM – 9:25AM
- JX202 / MFM – TPE / 10:30AM – 12:15PM
- JX203 / TPE – MFM / 1:05PM – 3:10PM
- JX204 / MFM – TPE / 4:10PM – 5:55PM
- JX205 / TPE – MFM / 6:45PM – 8:40PM
- JX206 / MFM – TPE / 9:40PM – 11:20PM
The route to Da Nang (DAD) will operate twice a day:
- JX701 / TPE – DAD / 7:40AM – 9:35AM
- JX702 / DAD – TPE / 10:35AM – 2:20PM
- JX1701 / TPE – DAD / 3:20PM – 5:15PM
- JX1702 / DAD – TPE / 6:15PM – 10:00PM
Finally, the route to Penang (PEN) will operate once a day:
- JX721 / TPE – PEN / 9:20AM – 2:00PM
- JX722 / PEN – TPE / 3:00PM – 7:45PM
On its shortest route, Taipei – Macau, the airline will face stiff competition since Air Macau, Eva Air, and Tigerair Taiwan each operate at least four flights a day between the two cities. In addition to that, there are also more than two dozen daily rotations between Taipei and Hong Kong which is just a short distance away from Macau.
The Taipei – Penang route is, at this point, only served by China Airlines – with one daily rotation.
Starlux Airlines’ Onboard Service
Besides the details of its initial three scheduled routes, Starlux Airlines also provided more information about its onboard service over the last few days. That’s in addition to what was already known in terms of their seats and even signature fragrance.
Even though it’s impossible to judge the quality at this point, both the airline’s business and economy class meals certainly look nicely presented. I wonder whether the meal service on the 4.5-hour flights to Penang will differ in any way from the other two routes which are considerably shorter.
Considering that the airline’s routes will be between two and five hours long, the amenities including blankets, pillows, and headphones look excellent as well.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Starlux Airlines plans to offer unlimited free wi-fi to its business class passengers and free messaging plan to its economy class passengers. It’s yet to be seen how much economy class passengers will have to pay for unlimited wi-fi.
While its route network will initially be fairly limited, I hope Starlux Airlines will find enough success to continue its expansion as planned. As I mentioned in my previous article about the airline, I really like the “higher-end” concept that Starlux Airlines is going for. In a way, the airline reminds me of my favorite Japanese airline, Starflyer.
In fact, I can’t wait to try the airline – it is not often that you see an airline plan something (even slightly) “different.” I have a trip that includes a brief visit to Taiwan planned for May 2020, so I will definitely be checking the airline’s website out tomorrow to see whether I can somehow incorporate a Starlux Airlines flight into it.