Tue, Jul 17, 2018 - Page 12 News List

StarLux Airlines to purchase 17 A350s

START-UP:The newly launched airline expects to start operations in 2020 with 27 aircraft, all of them Airbuses, serving Asian as well as North American long-haul routes

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Starlux Airlines founder Chang Kuo-wei yesterday attends a news conference on the opening day of the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire, England.

Photo: Bloomberg

StarLux Airlines (星宇航空), which was founded in May, yesterday confirmed that it intends to purchase 17 Airbus SE aircraft to build a fleet for high-end travelers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The start-up airline said that its founder and chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) yesterday at the Farnborough Airshow in England signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 17 A350 aircraft, including five smaller A350-900s and 12 larger A350-1000s.

The confirmation came after Bloomberg reported the massive purchase, which at list prices would be worth US$6 billion. Airlines usually receive discounts on their purchases.

StarLux declined to comment on the figure, citing confidentiality agreements.

The company said that it expects to finish taking delivery of the new aircraft toward the end of 2024.

The A350-900s equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB84 engines are to be delivered beginning in 2021, with deliveries of the A350-1000s powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB97 engines to start in the third quarter of 2022, StarLux said.

“As a pilot myself, I have personally experienced a test flight on the A350-1000. Its outstanding performance really amazed me,” Chang said in a statement.

StarLux is undergoing reviews by the Civil Aeronautics Administration and is to launch its first commercial flights by early 2020.

Meanwhile, the company has finalized lease agreements for five Airbus A321neos, with five more such deals to be completed by the end of this year.

The company has also signed an agreement with CFM International to finalize the purchase and a 12-year service contract for LEAP-1A spare engines to support a fleet of at least 10 leased A321neo airplanes.

StarLux is to operate an all-Airbus fleet of 27 aircraft at its launch, serving more than 20 destinations in Asia and North America, it said, adding that it would also be the first Taiwanese airline to fly the A350-1000.

In other news, EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) and China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) reported steady sales growth last month.

EVA reported sales of NT$16.08 billion (US$525.92 million) for last month, up 11.94 percent from May and 11.39 percent from the same period last year.

That brought aggregate sales between January and last month to NT$87.43 billion, 11.7 percent higher than in the first half of last year.

China Airlines said that sales last month rose 6.57 percent from May and 10.68 percent annually to NT$14.08 billion, with aggregate sales in the first six months growing 9.57 percent from the same period last year to NT$81 billion.

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