Business

Elon Musk's SpaceX Starlink inks first deal with major airline to offer passengers in-flight Wi-Fi

Business Insider US
Hawaiian is the first major airline to announce an in-flight Wi-Fi deal with Elon Musk's SpaceX Starlink.
Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images
  • SpaceX Starlink has inked its first deal with a major airline to offer in-flight Wi-Fi.
  • Hawaiian Airlines said Monday it will offer free Starlink internet on board starting 2023.
  • Hawaiian said it will equip its Airbus A330 and A321neo, and incoming Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with Starlink.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Elon Musk's SpaceX Starlink has inked its first deal with a major airline to offer passengers in-flight Wi-Fi, with Hawaiian Airlines set to offer the service starting 2023.

Hawaiian said Monday that it will equip its Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft, and incoming Boeing 787-9s, with Starlink equipment.

On Friday, semi-private regional jet service JSX said it had signed a deal with Starlink to provide free in-flight Wi-Fi across its fleet. The first JSX plane offering Starlink will take off later this year, the company said in a press release sent to Insider.

A Starlink executive said in 2021 that SpaceX was talking to airlines about offering in-flight Wi-Fi but didn't reveal the companies involved. Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian recently told The Wall Street Journal that his airline had held talks with Starlink and had tested out the technology.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram said Monday: "We waited until technology caught up with our high standards for guest experience, but it will be worth the wait."

Avi Mannis, Hawaiian's chief marketing and communications officer, told CNBC that Hawaiian hadn't tested Starlink on its planes yet. She added there were "certification issues" to go through before Hawaiian starts operating the service.

Hawaiian said free Starlink Wi-Fi would be provided to every guest onboard flights between the Hawiian islands and the continental US, Asia, and Oceania. It said it and Starlink were "in the initial stages of implementation and expect to begin installing the product on select aircraft next year."

Hawiian added it was "not currently planning to deploy the service on its Boeing 717 aircraft that operate short flights between the Hawaiian Islands."

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.