The first major airline to bring Starlink to the sky was recently announced. Here’s what company it is and why it’s important for the SpaceX-owned segment.
What Happened: Hawaiian Airlines, a unit of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. HA, is the first major airline to sign a deal with Starlink for high-speed broadband internet access on flights.
The complimentary Starlink will be offered on flights between the Hawaiian islands, the continental U.S., Asia and Oceania aboard Airbus A330, Airbus A321neo and Boeing 787-9 airplanes. The company offers 130 daily flights between the Hawaiian islands and 16 U.S. cities.
“When we launch with Starlink we will have the best connectivity experience ever in the air,” Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram said.
The Starlink launch for Hawaiian Airlines is planned for next year.
Why It’s Important: The announcement from Hawaiian Airlines comes as several airlines including Delta Air Lines Inc DAL have held discussions with Starlink about in-flight internet services.
Musk said last year that SpaceX was working to get its service certified with airplane makers including Boeing Co BA, Airbus SE EADSY and Gulfstream, a business jet company that's part of General Dynamics Corporation GD.
Small regional airline JSX, which offers flights in the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Texas and New York using 30 seat Embraer aircraft recently announced plans to offer Starlink inflight for free to its customers later this year.
Starlink is owned by SpaceX, a company founded and led by Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk.
Deals signed between airlines and Starlink could be worrisome to investors of Gogo Inc GOGO, one of the leaders of in-flight wi-fi.
Photo: Courtesy Hawaiian Airlines
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