Taiwanese full-service contender Starlux is pulling out all the stops as it gears up for launch early next year in the crowded Asian market.
The carrier will launch January 23 using Airbus A321neo aircraft with plans to initially fly to Macau, Vietnam’s Da Nang and Malaysia’s Penang.
The first of 10 A321neos will be delivered at the end of October and the airline expects to have three flying by the time it launches.
But it has aspirations beyond the region and in March signed a firm order for 12 A350-1000s and five A350-900s with plans to deploy the aircraft on services from Tapei to destinations in the Asia-pacific, Europe and North America.
Founder and chairman K. W. Chang has said he wants the new airline to be one of the best in the world and initial indications are that the former EVA Air chairman is going to give it a good shot.
Those indications came at a recent event to unveil the airline’s new uniform and cabin design. It is also adopting the olfactory strategy of Cathay Pacific by formulating its own fragrance for use in lounges and on aircraft.
Called “Home in the Air” it is apparently designed to evoke the tranquillity of the home with “the expanse of the galaxy’’.
The uniform collection for cabin and ground crews was designed by renowned Taiwan fashion designer Sean Yin, who said he wanted to combine a classical airline look with modern touches “to create chic but practical fashions”.
The Starlux website says the uniforms “combine fashion elements from the 40s and 50s with space-age accents, employing natural gold and space silver tones to simultaneously evoke elegance and state-of-the-art appointments.”
An interesting addition for pilots, engineering, ground handling and maintenance staff badges with the slogan “Safety is our attitude”.
For those less concerned with galactic scents and what the cabin crew is wearing, there’s good news about seating.
The cabin interior as well as the seating in the A321neos has been designed by BMW Group Designworks and features ultra-thin seatbacks in economy to boost legroom and lie-flat comfort in business.
The airline says the economy class seating features bright and natural colors and every seat will be equipped with a high-quality leather headrest.
“Passengers will be able to enjoy restful sleep without bringing their own neck pillows,’’ it promises.
Each seat has a 10.1-inch 720p screen with USB ports and single earphone ports to allow passengers to plug in their own cans.
Starlux will be also providing free Wi-Fi with basic access.
The airline describes business class as “comparatively more settled and tranquil, employing relatively dark and elegant colors to evoke the majesty of the galaxy.”
This includes classical grey and rose gold cushions and privacy dividers combined BMW Cashmere Silver that adds “a futuristic, hi-tech touch to the back shells”
Business passengers get a sharper screen with a 15.6-inch 1080p unit and the seat transforms into an 82-inch fully flatbed.