Japan’s ZIPAIR signs up for Starlink from SpaceX

Japan’s ZIPAIR signs up for Starlink from SpaceX

LLAS – To offer its passengers onboard internet, Japan’s low-cost, long-haul airline ZIPAIR Tokyo (ZG) has subscribed to Starlink from SpaceX. The subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JL), which commenced operations in 2020, will become the first airline in the Asia-Pacific region to sign up for the service.

The announcement comes just a few weeks after the Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic (BT) said that it would be equipping its entire Airbus A220 fleet with SpaceX’s Starlink internet connectivity system to offer free high-speed internet to all customers. 

ZG’s 787s are configured in a two-class layout with 18 in business-class and 272 in economy. Photo: ZIPAIR.

Starlink Optimistic 

“Once integrated, the high-speed, low-latency Starlink network will be accessible to all Zipair passengers at any time on board, allowing for real-time video conferencing, streaming, and gaming for everyone,” says SpaceX Vice President Jonathan Hofeller.

“As the first Asian airline to implement Starlink, ZIPAIR is setting a new standard for in-flight connectivity, and we’re excited to work with the company to provide this modern in-flight connectivity experience.”

ZG Boeing 787 at LAX. Photo: LAX.

How it Works 

Starlink uses a constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit for global Internet access. ZIPAIR says that an engineering assessment and certification procedure are being carried out in relation to the Starlink installation by both SpaceX and itself.

According to fleet data from Cirium, ZG currently has four Boeing 787-8s in service and has one more -8 on order. It operates to Bangkok (BKK), Honolulu (HNL), Los Angeles (LAX), San Jose (SJC), Singapore (SIN), and Seoul (ICN) from its base at Tokyo Narita (NRT).

“We are committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in air travel and are excited to be a part of that future,” says ZG president Shingo Nishida.

“We believe that our work with SpaceX is very important to increase the speed of in-flight Internet communications and achieve a new standard in the industry.”

Featured Image: ZG has four Boeing 787-8s in service with one more on order. Photo: ZIPAIR.

Bash is a writer, photographer/ filmmaker, social media manager and published poet based in Kampala, Uganda.

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