Taiwan's new carrier StarLux signs deal with Airbus for 17 planes


Taipei (AFP)

Taiwan's new StarLux Airlines signed a deal on Tuesday worth up to $6 billion for 17 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft in one of the island's biggest single commercial plane purchases.

The deal included five A350-900s and 12 A350-1000s with ten options, which are scheduled to be delivered from late 2021, the companies said.

StarLux, founded in May 2018 by Taiwan's EVA Airways former chairman Chang Kuo-wei, is set to operate regular international flights starting in 2020.

"The aircraft purchase deal today is one of the largest in Taiwan ... We promise to all that we will use the latest equipment, " Chang said at the signing ceremony in Taipei.

The company declined to disclose financial details of the deal, which is the largest single purchase of Airbus planes in Taiwan.

According to Airbus list prices it is worth nearly $6 billion, though aircraft manufacturers usually offer discounts on large orders.

StarLux has also leased ten Airbus A321 neos, set to be delivered from October, which will fly its initial routes from Taipei to Southeast and Northeast Asia, a company statement said.

StarLux aims to serve over 20 destinations in Asia and North America by the end of 2024 with a fleet of 27 aircraft, according to the statement.

It would be the first airline in Taiwan to fly the A350-1000.

In 2015 EVA signed a deal worth more than $6 billion for 26 Boeing jetliners while Chang was chairman, making it the biggest ever single commercial plane purchase in Taiwan.