TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s StarLux Airlines Co. (星宇航空), which plans to start operating flights early next year, will sign an agreement with Airbus in Taipei on Tuesday to purchase 17 A350 wide-body aircraft, Central News Agency (CNA) reported on Monday.
(video from Airbus YouTube channel)
The deal is Airbus' largest ever single order by a Taiwanese airline, according to Airbus data, CNA reported.
StarLux chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to purchase 17 A350XWB, including 5 A350-900 and 12 A350-1000, when he attended the Farnborough Airshow in the UK last July, the news outlet said.
The aircraft purchase agreement will be co-signed by Chang, Christain Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), and Paul Freestone, aircraft-engine producer Rolls-Royce’s senior vice-president, in Taipei, according to CNA.
After the signing of the agreement, StarLux will become Taiwan’s first airline to introduce A350-1000 aircraft.
Chang, who is a commercial pilot, was invited to experience the flight of A350-1000 early last year. He said that he was deeply impressed by the excellent performance and control of A350 aircraft, and considered A350-1000 very suitable for Taiwan’s geographic position and StarLux’s future flight route development.
According to StarLux’s plan, the airline will have a fleet of 27 aircraft, all of which are Airbus aircraft, at the initial stage, the news outlet reported.
In addition to A350 aircraft, the new airline will also rent 10 A321neo, the delivery of which will begin in October and be completed by mid-2022, CNA reported. The delivery of A350 aircraft will begin at the end of 2021 and be completed by 2024, the news outlet added.
StarLux plans to operate regular flights to Northeastern Asia, Southeastern Asia, Hong Kong, and Macao at the initial stage, and will expand flight service to include North America routes in 2022, CNA reported.