StarLux Airlines may just be another start-up doomed to fail, but it is certainly an intriguing one.
A group of investors in Taiwan, led by Chang Kuo-wei, has taken substantial steps to create a new luxury airline. Chang’s father founded the Evergreen Group, which includes EVA Air, so he does have an institutional advantage from the start.
Forbes reports StarLux will begin flying in 2020 “with aircraft that are fully fitted for luxury travel.” While the new airline is still waiting for an operator certificate from Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), it has agreed to acquire 27 airplanes from Airbus and received an operating permit from the Ministry of Transportation. These aircraft include 10 leased A321neos and 17 purchased A350s.
What kind of seating onboard? We don’t know. What kind of service onboard? We don’t know. A spokesman said:
We are committed to applying an exquisite design to the cabin to bring our customers the utmost comfort and feel the hospitality from the moment they step into our cabin.
That doesn’t help much…
It appears the airline hopes to cater to luxury travelers and offer all passengers 100% on-demand service onboard. That’s an interesting concept, though tough to pull off on an A350.
StarLux hopes to serve 20 destinations in Asia and North America by 2024. Japan has been singled out as a key destination along with the U.S. West Coast.
In short, there is still much to learn about this new airline.
But keep StarLux on your radar. At least this start-up has the money behind it to (potentially) get it off the ground. You can check the airline’s website here. The home page looks like the start of a DreamWorks movie.
After United Airlines spent so much time and money developing its Polaris brand, I find it interesting that StarLux is also using “Polaris” in its branding. Of course Polaris is just the North Star and you could argue that United ripped it from EVA in the first place. Still, this is going to ruffle some feathers in the United legal department…
After the death of his father, Chang was forced out at EVA. This whole exercise could be revenge against the Board who forced him out.
In a press conference announcing the new airline, Chang added he will compete with EVA on passenger and cargo traffic and that his main competition would be Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and China Airlines (in addition to EVA). Not coincidentally, those are the top four carriers in the region.
I do wonder whether all of this is a game just to prove himself.
I’m actually betting this airline will lift off the ground. But the market is highly competitive and StarLux will need more than on-demand service onboard to survive.