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Starlux discloses the first A350 routes.

Starlux discloses the first A350 routes.

On its first Airbus A350, the swanky Taiwanese rival lifts the lid on the brand-new paradigm in luxury travel.

This week marks the beginning of Starlux Airlines’ first Airbus A350 flights. The brand-new aircraft will fly to three regional locations as part of a promotional campaign and to acquaint the crew with the aircraft before later this year, when service will begin in Los Angeles, the new aircraft will enter the US market.

Starting on Friday, January 20, the Taiwanese startup has scheduled two A350s for flights to Bangkok and Macau, with Tokyo following on March 1.

The Starlux A350, with its business class suites, will be available to local passengers on these important routes during these brief 2-4 hour flights, giving the A350 plenty of opportunity to stretch its legs.

The four first class suites, however, are not available for booking on the Starlux website, and an airline representative tells Executive Traveller that the suites won’t be handled any differently from regular business class seats because they are in the first row of the seat selection map.

With the support of the cutting-edge A350 twin-jet, Starlux will lead the way into the US, help the company compete with domestic rivals China Airlines and EVA Air, and may even join the Oneworld alliance, delivering on its promise to introduce a new standard of luxury travel to Asia and beyond.

Starlux is a startup that Chang Kuo-wei, a longtime Taiwanese aviation executive and former chairman of EVA Air and scion of one of the wealthiest families on the island with an estimated net worth surpassing US$1 billion, has dubbed as the “Emirates of Taiwan.” This is based in part on Taipei’s geographic location, according to Chang, who said that it takes five hours to go to most major Asian cities.

Taiwan has the best groundwork to grow as an aviation hub because of its advantageous location at the crossroads of North America, North Asia, and Southeast Asia.

The Starlux fleet fleet can now cover short, mid, and long range flights, offering service to passengers outside of Asia, according to Chang, who described the A350 as the ideal complement to the airline’s current A321neo and A330neo aircraft.

Los Angeles will be followed by other locations in North America, and Starlux doesn’t aim to stop there; it also has plans to expand its A350 network into Europe.

First-class Starlux A350

First class on Starlux’s A350s will give it a premium travel advantage over China Airlines and Eva Air in the area, both of whom have recently phased out first class. Along with Malaysia Airlines and Lufthansa, it will be one of the few airlines offering first class on an A350-900.

There is a single row of four tall suites with 60-inch door walls that are “designed to provide passengers their own personal suite on the aircraft.” Each suite comes with a 32 “A personal wardrobe is offered to store belongings, along with an HD video screen and minibar.

Naturally, the seat can be made into a lie-flat bed, but it also “has a zero-gravity feature to provide additional comfort and relaxation.”

Business-class Starlux A350

In order to compete with China Airlines and Eva Air, Starlux wants to enhance its A350 business class. The airline claims that each of the 26 business class cabins has a “48-inch door and a comfortable lamp to provide warmth” and offers both lie-flat and zero-gravity sleeping options.

The 24 “While the fabrics and finish of the business suites exhibit careful attention to detail, the HD screen provides Bluetooth audio streaming to the passenger’s own headphones or earbuds. This high-tech feature also appears in first class, premium economy, and economy.

seats for the Starlux A350

All four travel classes are displayed on the Starlux A350 seating chart:

four luxury suites

26 seats in business class, 36 in premium economy, and 240 in economy.

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