Story at a glance

  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX might become the provider of in-flight WiFi for airline passengers.
  • SpaceX's vice president of Starlink and commercial sales, Jonathan Hofeller, announced the company is discussing providing its Starlink internet to commercial airlines.
  • SpaceX would create technology specialized to the aircrafts to transmit the internet through the use of airline antennas but with "obvious enhancements for aviation connectivity."

Elon Musk’s SpaceX might become the provider of in-flight WiFi for airline passengers through its Starlink satellite internet service.

First reported by The Verge on Wednesday, SpaceX's vice president of Starlink and commercial sales, Jonathan Hofeller, announced the company is discussing providing its Starlink internet to commercial airlines.

"We're in talks with several of the airlines," Hofeller said at the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit. "We have our own aviation product in development. … We've already done some demonstrations to date, and looking to get that product finalized to be put on aircraft in the very near future."


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SpaceX would create technology specialized to the aircraft to transmit the internet through the use of airline antennas but with "obvious enhancements for aviation connectivity."

Every Starlink satellite would be fitted with laser links that wouldn’t require ground stations to transmit, so airplanes would still be able to provide in-flight internet even while traveling over remote areas, such as oceans and mountains.

Hofeller went on to say that the faster, more reliable access is driven by the increased demand by customers to have internet access during travel.

"It's going to be up to the individual airline whether they want to be responsive to that,” he said, “or if they're OK with having a system that is not as responsive to their customers' demand."


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Published on Jun 10, 2021