CNBC reports the carrier is beginning flights with Starlink internet access onboard as a free product, becoming the first airline to partner with SpaceX.
Hawaiian Says Starlink “Cracked the Code” for High Quality In-Flight Internet
With an international network to destinations including Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, Hawaiian needed a product that could give flyers internet access across a large geographic footprint. Executives at the airline say Starlink is the best option to provide free on-board wi-fi for everywhere they fly.
The carrier will start by offering free internet access aboard six Airbus A321neo airframes this week. By the end of 2024, the airline plans to have the Starlink wi-fi connectivity available on 18 A321 and 24 A330 airframes.
“SpaceX has really cracked the code – literally, in terms of the technology – to be able to deliver a wide bandwidth of very high quality connectivity to an airplane with a global reach,” Hawaiian chief executive Peter Ingram told CNBC.
The partnership between Hawaiian and SpaceX was announced in 2022, promising flyers reliable trans-Pacific internet access. Under the agreement, new deliveries of the Airbus A321neo, A330, and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner would all have Starlink hardware pre-installed.
While neither party disclosed the value of the deal or cost to install hardware on aircraft, Ingram told CNBC that the price “have gone down from what the early wi-fi systems were.” Other airlines are also anticipated to add Starlink to their flights, including Qatar Airways.
With the move, Hawaiian is the third airline to offer free in-flight wi-fi to flyers aboard their aircraft. JetBlue does not charge a fee for internet access aboard aircraft, while Delta Air Lines offers complimentary wi-fi for SkyMiles members.
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Source: frugal travel guy