Taiwanese start-up carrier Starlux Airlines has taken delivery of an A321neo, making it the first A321neo introduced into Taiwan.
A pilot and an aircraft maintenance technician himself, Chang Kuo-wei, the chairman of Starlux Airlines, flew this new aircraft with the registration number B-58201 from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Hamburg, Germany to Taipei in person, via Dubai and Bangkok. The flight arrived at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport at around 1120 on Monday October 28.
The start-up airline’s A321neo features the Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) configuration, which the airline says enables “more flexible cabin configurations”, and allows for more seats while still providing “a roomy cabin” by modifying the fuselage.
Starlux Airlines’ A321neo has 188 seats, including eight fully-flat seats in business class and 180 seats in economy class. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific reported on the cabin design and seats on this aircraft earlier this month.
The airline has agreed to lease 10 A321neos from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). Two more will be delivered to the airline before it officially begins flying in January next year.
The first three A321neos will serve the airline’s inaugural routes to Macau, Da Nang and Penang.
“From the examination and test flight over the past few days, I am once again very confident that Starlux has made the right choice in selecting the A321neo as the first member of our fleet,” said Starlux Airlines’ chairman Chang.
“I am sure that with the outstanding performance and the cabin configuration, it can provide the most safe and cozy journey to our passengers, giving rise to new vitality to the airline industry in Taiwan,” he added.
The airline will receive all of the 10 A321neos by 2021. What’s more, in March this year, Starlux Airlines confirmed an order of 17 A350XWB aircraft, which will be delivered to the airline starting from the second half of 2021. The airline says it will then continue to add new destinations to North America and Europe.
“With the A350 joining the fleet in 2021, Starlux will benefit from commonality by operating single aisle and widebody aircraft together offering a seamless experience for both passengers and crew,” said Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer of Airbus.