Hawaiian Airlines has become the first major airline to announce an agreement with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to provide free high-speed internet access to all passengers on trans-Pacific flights through the Starlink satellie network.
The agreement marks the first for Elon Musk’s space company with a major airline. Starlink is SpaceX’s network of about 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit, designed to deliver high-speed internet to consumers and businesses anywhere on the planet.
The service will run on flights between the islands and the continental U.S, Asia and Oceania. Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier will equip its Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft, as well as an incoming fleet of Boeing 787-9s, with Starlink’s satellite internet connectivity service.
“When we launch with Starlink we will have the best connectivity experience available in the air,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram. “We waited until technology caught up with our high standards for guest experience, but it will be worth the wait. Our guests can look forward to fast, seamless and free Wi-Fi to complement our award-winning onboard Hawaiian hospitality.”
“Hawaiian Airlines is ensuring its passengers will experience high-speed internet the way we expect it in the 21st century, making hassles like downloading movies before takeoff a relic of the past,” said SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales Jonathan Hofeller. “With Starlink, the inflight experience is greatly simplified so that once passengers step onboard the plane the internet works seamlessly throughout their flight. Soon, passengers will enjoy all the benefits of having the world’s best inflight internet connectivity from the comfort of their seats.”
In Starlink‘s low-Earth orbit constellation of advanced satellites, the latest of which utilize a revolutionary laser mesh network, Hawaiian found an ideal solution to ensure reliable, high-speed, low-latency connectivity on transpacific flights. Guests will be able to stream content, play games live with friends on the ground, work and collaborate in real-time, plan their Hawai‘i vacation, or share their special island moments on social media. Connecting to the internet will be seamless when guests walk on board, without registration pages or payment portals.
Hawaiian and Starlink are in the initial stages of implementation and expect to begin installing the product on select aircraft next year.
Hawaiian Airlines is currently nominated in the category for North America’s Leading Airline 2022 by World Travel Awards. Voting is currently underway. The winner will be announced at World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony 2022 on 14 June at Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica.