Changi Airport News Travel

Starlux is bringing its new Airbus A330neo Business Class to Singapore

Luxury boutique airline Starlux is bringing its new Airbus A330neo Business Class to the Singapore - Taipei route from July 2022.

In September last year, boutique Taiwanese startup airline Starlux launched its first non-stop flights from Singapore Changi Airport, with a three times weekly service linking to its Taipei hub, using its new Airbus A321neo jets.

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One of the most interesting things about the new airline was its flat-bed seats in Business Class on an initial tranche of these narrow-body aircraft, designed for intra-Asia regional hops.

Since then, however, Starlux has taken delivery of its first pair of eight wide-body Airbus A330neo aircraft, which have an even better Business Class product installed, even though they are also designed to serve intra-Asia routes.

Starlux took delivery of its first A330neo in February 2022. (Photo: Airbus)

Singapore gets the Starlux A330neo

The good news is that Singapore will be the airline’s next city to be served by the A330neo jets, with the three existing weekly flights upgrading to wide-body comfort in both cabins, plus there will be four additional weekly services using the A321neo, for daily service overall.

Starlux Business Class passengers on the Singapore – Taipei route will get an upgrade to direct aisle access flat-bed seats from July 2022. (Photo: Starlux)

Here’s how the schedule looks, with A330neo services highlighted.

From 28th July 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
JX731
A330neo
       
TPE
09:05
SIN
13:45
JX731
A321neo
fm.
Sep

  fm.
Aug

  fm.
Sep

  fm.
Sep

TPE
09:05
SIN
13:45
g JX732
A330neo
       
SIN
15:05
TPE
20:05
g JX732
A321neo
fm.
Sep

  fm.
Aug

  fm.
Sep

  fm.
Sep

SIN
15:05
TPE
20:05

Note
Wednesday A321neo service effective from August 2022
Monday, Friday and Sunday A321neo service effective from September 2022

Provisionally, Starlux will operate daily A321neo flights on this route in the northern winter season from November 2022, but that is subject to change and hopefully we will see a continuation of A330neo service.

Business Class seats

Starlux is the launch customer for the Safran Skylounge Core Business Class seats, which made their debut on the airline’s Taipei – Bangkok and Taipei – Manila routes earlier this month.

They seats have also been available to a lucky few on the airline’s Kaohsiung and Macau training flights, between March and May this year.

The cabin has 28 seats in a 1-2-1 layout, with direct access for all.

Starlux A330neo Business Class. (Photo: Safran Seats)

Note that this is not the Business Class that will be fitted to Starlux’s upcoming Airbus A350s, which will operate long-haul flights to and from the USA with a different seat product, plus a First Class cabin.

On the A330neo, the ‘A’ and ‘K’ solo window seats have the best privacy, with the storage console shielding passengers from the aisle slightly, and the seat itself positioned closer to the window.

Starlux A330neo Business Class seat map

There’s a 17.3″ 4K Ultra-HD in-flight entertainment screen with bluetooth audio connection, plus wireless device charging at every seat. Free Wi-Fi is also offered to Business Class passengers.

Starlux A330neo Business Class. (Photo: Safran Seats)
Side consoles include wireless charging pads, in addition to AC, USB-A and USB-C ports. (Photo: Safran Seats)

Large retractable dividers between the middle seat pairs look to provide excellent privacy, though for couples do note that all the seats in this configuration are staggered (so there are no ‘honeymoon’ pairs at alternate rows).

As with its Airbus A321neo Business Class seat, which uses the Collins Diamond platform, BMW DesignWorks took charge of the customisation of these A330neo seats, leading to a very consistent product appearance.

The narrow-body Starlux Business Class seats (A321neo pictured) were also finished by BMW Designworks, so there’s clear consistency in the colour palette with the A330neo seats. (Photo: Starlux)

In common with many cabin designs on newer aircraft types like this, the airline is particularly lauding the ‘mood lighting’ options, to help passengers sleep and assist with time zone transitions.

Mood lighting on the A330neo. (Photo: Starlux)

“Cabin lighting will be adjusted to accommodate different cabin situations, such as boarding, sleeping, dining, etc.

“Cabin lighting has a soft transition effect, allowing your eyes to have enough time to adapt to the light changes. When flying at night, we provide an optimal environment for sleep, allowing your body to rest up for the next part of your journey.”

Starlux

When it comes to dining, Starlux promises “an exclusive menu created by Michelin chefs with a rich selection of wines” in its Business Class cabins.

It will be interesting to see how popular the Safran Skylounge Core Business Class seat becomes with other airlines. The product, which picked up a design award in 2018, is compatible with other long-haul aircraft like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787.

Economy Class seats

In Economy Class on the A330neo, Starlux is offering a slightly more comfortable experience compared to its A321neo.

Starlux A330neos have 269 Economy Class seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. (Photo: Starlux)

Seat pitch is one inch better at 32″, while the seat-back in-flight entertainment screens are 13.3″ 4K Ultra-HD versions, compared to 10.6″ Standard Definition (720p) on the A321neo.

Larger, higher-quality IFE systems are installed on Starlux’s A330neos, compared to the A321neos. (Photo: Starlux)

Seating is in a 2-4-2 layout, typical for the A330 family and perfect for couples who should have a wide range of window pairs to choose from.

In-seat power is also available, and there’s free basic Wi-Fi, for text messages only.

Travel between Singapore and Taiwan

At the time of writing entry into Taiwan is restricted to Taiwanese residents and those on official business, though Singapore is no longer restricting entry for fully vaccinated travellers from any country, and it is therefore possible for those based in Taiwan to take a trip to Singapore (though quarantine applies when they get home).

Taiwan still has strict entry restrictions for non-residents, and mandatory arrival quarantine. (Photo: Thomas Tucker)

Taiwan has been slowly relaxing its border restrictions lately, including a shortening of mandatory quarantine to three days and a removal of restrictions on transit passengers, but the country is still not open to tourists just yet.

Given Singapore’s latest border policy, as soon as Taiwan does open up more generally for non-residents and tourists there will no doubt be a rush of demand to this popular destination, which has sadly been off the cards for over two years.

Hopefully we can then finally get on board Starlux to check out its Business Class products, and share the experience with you all.

Status match

Last year many of our readers took advantage of Starlux’s generous status match into its COSMILE programme for elite members of other airline schemes, initially offered for four years but later reduced to two years.

That means many of you now have COSMILE status that includes additional baggage allowance, priority boarding and lounge access, based on your KrisFlyer or other airline membership tier.

Taipei lounge

Starlux Business Class passengers and elite COSMILE status holders also get to enjoy the fantastic looking Galactic Lounge in Taipei before their flight.

Starlux Galactic Lounge in Taipei. (Photo: Starlux)

Fine dining is on the agenda here, with “carefully prepared dishes served by professional chefs”.

Starlux Business Class and eligible COSMILE members have access to the SATS Premier Lounge in Terminal 1 at Changi Airport, which is pretty ordinary in comparison.



 


 

Summary

We’ve been wanting to review the Starlux Business Class experience since early 2020 when the airline first launched, but the pandemic put pay to both our trip plans and the airline’s ramp-up!

Good news is that even before Taiwan opens its border for tourists, Starlux is going daily from Singapore to Taipei, with three of its seven weekly flights operated by the A330neo, for an even better cabin experience.

Starlux A330neo Business Class. (Photo: Starlux)

That’s especially true in Business Class, with direct aisle access flat-beds, but also in Economy Class, where couples will rejoice at the 2-4-2 layout and everyone benefits from extra legroom.

Later this year Starlux will also launch its A350s, with a different flat-bed Business Class product and at least one First Class row at the ‘pointy end’, for deployment on longer flights.

Hopefully we can jump on board a Starlux service in the not too distant future once Taiwan’s travel restrictions ease further, to write a full review of the experience.

(Cover Photo: Starlux)

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1 comment

  1. The Galactic Lounge in Taipei is unfortunately currently closed. I believe Starlux business class passengers are sent to the Plaza Premium lounge instead.

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