• Joe Breitfeller

Xingyu Aviation’s STARLUX Airlines Prepares to Take Flight in January 2020

Taipei-based Xingyu Aviation received their Civil Aviation Transport Permit last Thursday and is now selling tickets for daily service to Macau, Da Nang and Penang from January 23, 2020.

STARLUX Airbus A321neo - Courtesy STARLUX Airlines

This year has been very challenging for some sectors of the airline industry with the failure of overleveraged operators such as Jet Airways, WOW and Thomas Cook, the tragic second accident of the Boeing 737 MAX with subsequent grounding and a precipitous drop in demand to Hong Kong due to social unrest. That said, we are very excited about the launch of Taipei-based STARLUX Airlines in January 2020 and hope it is a harbinger of good fortune for the new year.

Last Thursday, Xingyu Aviation, the parent company of Taipei-based STARLUX Airlines received their license from the Civil Aviation Bureau of the Ministry of Communications in Taiwan to operate their first three routes. Starting January 23, 2020, Xingyu Airlines (STARLUX) will offer three daily flights from Taipei to Macau, two daily flights from Taipei to Da Nang and once daily service to Penang. In the December 13th announcement, Xingyu Aviation’s’ Chairman, Zhang Guowei said,

STARLUX Airbis A350 XWB - Courtesy STARLUX Airlines

“For regional destinations, Xingyu Airlines must fly daily to meet the needs of modern travelers, and to flexibly cope with the temporary and changing schedules of business travelers, to bring the greatest convenience to all passengers. We will continue to plan and set sail with the most delicate attitude, laying a solid foundation for the highest quality flight safety, and look forward to bringing you a fresh start from January 23 next year.”

STARLUX Airlines’ ticket sales officially went on sale at 11:00AM Monday, December 16, 2019, for travel from January 23, 2020 through December 11, 2020. The new routes will be operated by a brand new Airbus A321neo.

Branding and Onboard Service

Anyone following the STARLUX Airlines launch story will know that the carrier’s branding has been carefully curated, with no details left to chance. In a separate announcement last Friday, Xingyu Aviation announced that they have received the “Best New Uniform Award” during the British media’s 'TheDesignAir Awards 2019' for their entire range of team uniforms. Commenting on the award, TheDesignAir’s founder, Johnny Clark said,

"Although Xingyu Airlines is a brand new airline, it is impressive that the design of its cabins, equipment and uniforms is impressive. Xingyu Airlines successfully combines classics and the future to present a space style. The practicality and sense of high fashion, and the series of uniforms designed with modern avant-garde methods, truly reflect Xingyu Aviation’s determination to bring different aviation services.”

STARLUX Airlines Award-Winning Uniform Range - Courtesy STARLUX Airlines

Founded in 2011, TheDesignAir advocates the importance of aesthetic design to the passenger experience. TheDesignAir’s judging board consists of senior aviation and design workers who also consider input from readers around the world when presenting awards. Also commenting on the uniform award, Xingyu Aviation’s designer, Lin Yinpei added,

“We have been persistent to make a difference. Thanks to all the Xingyu partners who participated in the uniform design. The results of our efforts have been affirmed, and it also proves that Xingyu’s uniforms have international standards. The day when Yuhang set sail, I saw my colleagues wearing uniforms in their respective positions, and I will never forget this moving moment.”

In a separate announcement last Friday, Xingyu Aviation unveiled their ‘Five and Six Senses Service’ inflight catering. STARLUX Airlines’ JX Business Class meals have been created by Michelin-starred Chef Lin Mingjian of the restaurant “Longtail” who was commissioned to create a “top-level restaurant in the air.” Economy Class meals have been created by Taiwan’s well known roast meat brand “Hutong Roast Meat” and includes hot soup service. STARLUX Airlines’ catering will be delivered in cooperation with Fuxing Air Kitchen. Additional flourishes will include “Taoweijia” ice-cream from Tainan and exclusive “Tieguanyin Cocoa Chips” which will be available from the second quarter of 2020. Speaking on STARLUX Airlines’ bespoke catering offering, Xingyu Aviation’s Chairman, Zhang Guowei stated,

“Xingyu Airlines will bring exquisite cuisines from Taiwan to the sky. Although the initial voyage is a Southeast Asian route, the standard meals will also be good and adequate, whether it is Longtail business class or economy Alley roast meat in the cabin, close the distance between on-board dining and dining, while taking care of passengers’ preferences for meals or drinks, so that passengers can pre-select their own meals while booking, which are all stars Yu hopes to bring to the intentions of passengers!”

STARLUX Airlines' Cabin Crew Present Examples of Onboard Catering - Courtesy STARLUX Airlines

As part of the airlines’ ‘Five and Six Senses’ service, the airline also unveiled details of their boutique high-altitude service last week. From the debut of their proprietary fragrance “Xingu” to the detailed design of the carrier’s playing cards, every detail has been carefully curated. When stepping into business class, guests will notice the flight attendant’s wood grain pattern tray with an offering of hot towels and welcome beverages. The serviceware and amenity kit items have also been carefully selected from brands such as DURALEX and THANN respectively. Once seated, business class passengers will enjoy noise-cancelling headphones along with specially designed pillows from BMW Group Designworks. The inflight beverage selection features Bollinger champagne and tea from Whittard’s London and Earl Grey as well as Illy Italian Arabica coffee, with all hot drinks accompanied by AMEDEI Manor dark chocolate cubes. From rice cakes to dried fruit and nuts, all onboard snacks have also been carefully chosen.

STARLUX Airlines' Team Members Present Boutique Onboard Service Items - Courtesy STARLUX Airlines

Finally, on Monday Xingu Aviation announced a large-scale recruitment effort for 300 open air, ground services and back-office positions. In the announcement, Xingyu Aviation’s CEO, Zhai Jianhua said,

“This recruitment of back office staff and cabin crew members will open the next stage of manpower preparation for Xingyu Aviation. Although the experience and functional requirements of each position are different, the talents who wish to join the Xingu team are all with the same enthusiasm and enthusiasm for the aviation industry, we can work together to maintain high standards of aviation safety and quality and continue to stimulate innovative aviation thinking and services.”

STARLUX Airlines' Ground Service Team Members - Courtesy STARLUX Airlines

It has been said that the only thing more difficult to start up than an airline is a nuclear power plant. We congratulate Chairman Zhang Guowei, CEO Zhai Jianhua and the entire team at Xingyu Aviation for reaching many milestones over the past few years. As the airline prepares for the ultimate revenue service milestone on January 23, 2020, we wish the team good fortune and look forward to covering STARLUX Airlines for many years to come.

Source: STARLUX Airlines