This Unknown Startup Airline Just Ordered 17 A350s
A new startup airline has made an ambitious order at the Farnborough Air Show today. Taiwan-based StarLux Airlines placed an order for 17 Airbus A350s in an effort to build out its long-haul fleet.
A competitor to the Boeing 787, the A350 went into service in 2015 and is known for its ability to make the economics of long-haul point-to-point routes more feasible with its better fuel burn and reduced maintenance costs.
The $6 billion deal includes orders for 12 of the larger A350-1000s and five midsize A350-900s. It's a boost to Airbus' -1000 model, which hasn't sold nearly as well as the -900.
StarLux has yet to operate any flights but plans to begin short-haul operations in 2020 with an initial lease of 10 narrow-body Airbus A321neos. The airline was founded and is currently lead by Chang Kuo-wei, former chairman of Taiwanese carrier EVA Air.
StarLux has plans to operate long-haul routes by 2022, including flights to North America, in addition to shorter intra-Asia flights. It will compete with other Taiwanese carriers like Star Alliance carrier Eva Air and SkyTeam carrier China Airlines.
Airbus has confirmed 27 orders for the A350 at Farnborough so far, with China's Sichuan Airlines signing on to purchase 10 A350-900s.