A trusted source of Asia-Pacific commercial aviation news and analysis

MARCH 2019

Week 11


Does Taiwan have room for Starlux?

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March 15th 2019

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Possible all-premium economy position may be unsustainable. Read More »

Starlux on 19 March is expected to finalise a deal for 17 A350s: five -900s and 12 -1000s for delivery from 2021 to 2024. A MoU was announced last year. Starlux will launch with A321neos, the first of which is expected in October 2019 ahead of commercial flights in early 2020.

The start-up is the baby of former EVA Air chairman, Chang Kuo-wei, who was ousted from the airline in a family feud following their father’s 2016 death. Observers praise Chang’s experience and network. They believe he can bring more innovation than when he was at EVA, where he had to balance more conservative family shareholders.

The question is if Taiwan can have three major overlapping airlines. While some think Starlux could be the most appealing and cost-efficient, China Airlines and EVA Air seem entrenched. Pushing either out of the market seems unlikely.

There is growing intrigue and concern with the possibility Starlux’s A321neos will have an all-premium economy configuration. There is strong doubt about the viability of this in short-haul markets.

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