Starlux Airlines (Taipei Taoyuan) founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chang Kuo-wei says he expects the start-up to take delivery of its first A321neo in September/October 2019, the Central News Agency has reported.

During a press conference to mark the formal unveiling of his new airline in Taipei this week, Chang said he would sign leasing contracts for ten aircraft of the type later this year. Having secured its initial approvals and business licence from the Taiwanese Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Starlux will now pursue its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) which Chang hopes to secure in time for an early 2020 launch.

With a launch fleet of three A321neo, Starlux will focus on flights to Japan as well as Southeast and Northeast Asian destinations. The first of fourteen widebody aircraft, whose type has yet to be confirmed but which has been reported to be either B777-300(ER)s or B787-10s, will deliver by the end of 2021. Longhaul flights to the US West Coast are expected to start around 2021/22.

Given limited potential in Taiwan's point-to-point market, Chang said Starlux would also focus on developing Taipei Taoyuan into a transit hub with its regional and intercontinental routes feeding into one another.

As such, by late 2024, Starlux expects to operate a fleet of up to 24 aircraft, serving over 20 destinations in Asia and North America.