This new luxury airline is introducing first-class service to the United States

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  • Published on May 10, 2023
  • Last Updated June 14, 2023
  • In News

The Taiwanese boutique airline has begun serving LAX and, while new to U.S. travelers, aspires to become a transpacific powerhouse.

Starlux Airlines, headquartered in Taipei, aspires to become a major player in transpacific travel. It’s setting the stage for that goal with a much-anticipatedLos Angeles service that began in late April. After launching in 2020, the airline planned to quickly expand to the United States, but the pandemic derailed its ambitions. This new route represents a significant achievement for the airline and is advantageous for passengers seeking an exceptional in-flight experience to Taipei and other destinations.

Starlux was established as an organization in 2018 and launched its first intra-Asian flight in January 2020. Despite this, it has a solid reputation in the industry. Chang Kuo-wei, the founder of Starlux, previously served as chairman of EVA Air, a reputable airline based in Taipei.

Kuo-wei’s Starlux deviates from the norm in a market dominated by more lo-cost airlines like Tokyo’s ZipAir and Oslo’s Norse Atlantic. The airline deems itself aluxury carrier and even refers to itself as “the Emirates of Asia,” according to theCondé Nast Traveler.

Kuo-wei is also a highly regarded pilot and actually piloted the first Starlux flight from Taipei to L.A. He also is a captain on the Airbus A350.

An intriguing power struggle comparable to that in Succession led to the creation of Starlux, an airline with an emphasis on extravagance. The late Chang Yung-far, the founder of EVA, was Kuo-wei’s father, establishing that aviation runs in the family. Kuo-wei was forced out of the business following the death of Yung-far in 2016 due to a family feud. Starlux was founded just two years later. The story is definitely interesting, even though Kuo-wei asserts that Starlux isn’t an airline founded as retaliation.

Alaska and Starlux passengers will be able to book connecting flights on a single ticket once the program becomes fully operational later this summer. Loyalty program members will soon be able to use Alaska miles to pay for flights run by Starlux. In particular, a one-way business class seat on Starlux’s Los Angeles–Taipei route will cost 60,000 Alaska miles.

Starlux’sfour-cabin Airbus A350-900, with four seats in first class, 26 in business, 36 in premium economy, and 240 in economy, flies the new Los Angeles to Taipei route. Seats in first class and business class are angled away from the aisle and arranged in a reverse herringbone pattern.

It has the most recent technology, including a wireless charging pad, a USB-C charging port, and a 24-inch 4K screen with Bluetooth functionality. In order to alleviate fatigue on lengthy journeys, there is also a massager and a special “Zero-G” seat function that cradles travelers by adjusting the seat so that their chest and feet are in alignment. Comfort items such as pajamas, mattress pads, and fluffy slippers are provided by the airline.

Starlux advertises its catering partnerships, but many of the options, including dishes by Michelin-starred chef Lam Ming Kin, are only available for departures from Taipei. However, there are othermeal options available.

In June, the airline will increase its Los Angeles–Taipei service frequency from five times per week to once per day. Simon Liu, chief strategy officer at Starlux, asserts that nonstop service from San Francisco will be available by the end of the year. As part of a larger push into long-haul travel, the next step is to introduce one new route within the United States per year. It won’t be long before everyone who travels becomes familiar with the luxury airline.

Evie Blanco is a journalist with nearly a decade of experience who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Queens, New York. She is extremely well-versed in hip-hop music and culture and is always aware of any developments within it. Whether it’s the latest in pop culture, a fascinating foreign destination, a truly amazing new restaurant, or breaking news, she loves to write about it all.

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This story was originally published May 10, 2023 11:18 AM.