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Starlux Airlines Launches First Transpacific Route to Los Angeles
Recently, STARLUX Airlines revealed the schedule for its first transpacific flights to Los Angeles. The Taiwanese carrier will begin flying between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei and Los Angeles International Airport on April 26, 2023.
The flights will be operated by the airline’s recently delivered Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The outbound flight will depart Taipei as JX002 at 11:40 p.m. and will arrive in Los Angeles at 8:30 p.m. The return flight will be JX001 and will depart Los Angeles at 12:50 a.m. and arrive in Taipei the next day at 5:40 a.m. The flights will initially operate five times per week with the frequency increasing to daily in June.
A Competitive Landscape
The Taipei – Los Angeles route market is one with high demand and heavy competition. However, STARLUX should be accustomed to this phenomenon as many of its existing routes share the same characteristics. China Airlines and EVA Air dominate the Taiwanese air travel sector, and STARLUX is both trying to establish themself as the third major player in a competitive landscape. Having started operations in January 2020, the carrier has had a challenging first few years, working through the pandemic while facing tough competition on popular routes like Taipei – Osaka, Japan, Taipei – Bangkok and Taipei – Cebu, Philippines.
On STARLUX’s new Los Angeles route, it will face direct competition from both China Airlines and EVA Air, who are both well-established players in the market. In May 2023, China Airlines has 17 weekly flights scheduled, while EVA Air is planning on operating 21 weekly flights on the route. Both competitors offer late-night departures that will compete directly with STARLUX’s flights, as well as extensive networks in both Asia and North America.
On Board STARLUX’s Aircraft
As STARLUX goes head-to-head with its Taiwanese competitors, it is marketing a luxurious onboard product. STARLUX’s A350-900s are configured with four first class seats, 26 business class seats, 36 premium economy class seats and 240 economy class seats. Since taking delivery of its first A350 in October, the carrier has been flying its new widebody jets on short-haul routes in Asia.
The carrier appears to be well-positioned to offer a competitive onboard experience. STARLUX will be the only airline to offer first class on the route. In fact, STARLUX is currently the only Taiwanese carrier with first class, as China Airlines discontinued its first class in 2016. First class suites on STARLUX’s A350s feature a 60-inch door wall and a personal wardrobe.
Business class seats also feature a door and both premium cabins have lie-flat seats with a “Zero G” mode to hep alleviate fatigue. Premium economy class and economy class seats have large personal entertainment screens with 4k resolution. During its first years of operation, STARLUX has also developed a reputation for delivering a high-quality soft product that will further add to the competitiveness of the airline’s onboard offerings.
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