Hawaiian Airlines has become the first major airline to announce an agreement with Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite network (JSX, a private Californian regional airline, was the first to sign up). Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband internet service will be available on the airline’s flights between the Hawaiian islands and the continental US, Asia and Oceania, on its Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft, as well as an incoming fleet of Boeing 787-9s.
Hawaiian Airlines says that Starlink‘s low-Earth orbit (LEO) constellation of satellites, the latest of which uses a revolutionary laser mesh network, was ideal for connectivity on its transpacific flights. Guests will be able to use the system free of charge, with capacity to stream content, play games live with friends on the ground, work and collaborate in real-time, plan their Hawai‘i vacation, or access social media. Passengers can connect to the internet seamlessly on board, with no registration pages or payment portals to navigate.
Hawaiian Airlines and Starlink are in the initial stages of system implementation and expect to begin installing the product on select aircraft next year. Hawaiian is not currently planning to deploy the service on its Boeing 717 aircraft that operate short flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
“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.”
“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,” added SpaceX’s VP 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.”