Could Starlink Be Coming To Airlines Soon?

Starlink is in talks with several airlines about using the company’s network for Wi-Fi on commercial planes, the company confirmed Wednesday.

What Happened: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite division could be coming to commercial planes soon, according to the company.

“We’re in talks with several of the airlines,” SpaceX's VP of Starlink Jonathan Hofeller said at a Wednesday panel.

Hofeller said the company has an aviation project in development. The company will finalize the product, he said, adding that it could be put on aircraft “in the very near future.”

Several airlines have talked to Starlink, and Hofeller said there is not a lack of interest. The potential customers and partners want to see the hardware and see the constellation, Hofeller added.

See Also: How To Buy Starlink IPO Stock 

Why It’s Important: SpaceX, founded by Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk, has over 500,000 reservations for Starlink.

In March, SpaceX filed for FCC approval to use Starlnk with Earth stations in motion, which could include cars, trucks, maritime vessels and aircraft.

“Not connecting Tesla cars to Starlink, as our terminal is much too big. This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs,” Musk clarified on Twitter.

A new FCC filing last week saw Starlink seeking approval for testing in five states for an updated receiver with a square antenna.

Starlink has launched around 1,800 of 4,400 planned satellites for global broadband internet coverage.

The company is beta testing for Starlink at a price point of $99 per month plus additional fees for installation. Internet service is expected to be a future revenue driver for Starlink.

Adding partnerships with airlines could increase Starlink's revenue and visibility. 

Competitors for Starlink in the commercial Wi-Fi space include Intelsat SA INTEQ and Viasat Inc VSAT. Viasat recently announced a next-generation satellite network that will be used in partnership with Delta Air Lines Inc DAL.

“All in all, passengers and customers want a great experience that (geostationary) systems simply cannot provide,” Hofeller said.

Related Link: Starlink Begins Taking Preorders, Musk Eyes IPO When Cash Flow Positive

Photo courtesy of SpaceX.

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