DALLAS – Hawaiian Airlines (HA) becomes the first major carrier to sign a deal to carry SpaceX’s Starlink service on all of its transpacific flights. Flying on an Airbus A321neo, an Airbus 330, or a Boeing 787-9 will provide passengers with complimentary, low-latency WiFi.
In 2023, HA says it will begin implementing Starlink broadband on “select” aircraft. There are no plans to add satellite service to the Boeing 717 airliners that fly between Hawaii’s islands.
Hawaiian will be the first major airline to use Starlink as a result of the deal. Earlier this month, SpaceX announced its first airline partnership with JSX, a charter carrier that specializes in shorter, lower-capacity flights. Delta Air Lines (DL) has tested Starlink, although it is unclear whether or not the firm will deploy the technology.
Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a WSJ interview that the Atlanta-based airline had held talks with SpaceX’s internet unit and conducted exploratory tests of Starlink’s technology.
SpaceX Starlink Internet
Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite-based internet infrastructure has gradually gained traction since the launch of the first 60 of its tiny satellites in early 2019. Musk’s SpaceX has now deployed approximately 1,800 satellites into space, and 250,000 users have signed up for its broadband internet services in 25 countries.
Using advanced satellites in a low orbit, Starlink says its service “enables video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet.” The company states that current ground users can expect to see download speeds between 100 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms.
Business users can expect download speeds of 150-500 Mbps and latency of 20-40ms. There’s no information yet regarding WIFI speed benchmarks on commercial aircraft.
Featured image: Hawaiian Airlines N209HA Airbus A32neo. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways