Monday, July 22, 2024

Hawaiian Airlines Partners with SpaceX Starlink for Free Inflight WiFi

Hawaiian Airlines plans to roll out free inflight Wi-Fi beginning this week. Combining expertise in air travel with the pioneering technologies, this joint endeavor aims to revolutionize passenger experience, emphasizing a new era of inflight amenities.

As Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram told CNBC, “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.”

Such advancements couldn’t come at a better time, as airlines are avidly enhancing their offerings for high-speed connectivity.

Taking Flight with Tech Giant, SpaceX

Drawing upon SpaceX’s vast network of more than 5,000 low Earth orbit satellites, Hawaiian Airlines has taken a significant step. 

The airline, which didn’t previously offer inflight Wi-Fi, signed an agreement with SpaceX in April 2022 to harness the power of the Starlink network, which already serves over 2.3 million customers worldwide.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Chad Gibbs, SpaceX’s vice president of Starlink business operations, discussed the transformative power of the new system during an interview with CNBC. 

“We now have a totally different paradigm, which is that we have incredible amounts of capacity and bandwidth that we can bring to the plane.”

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Casting a Wide NetWork

With a range that spans the mainland U.S., Japan, Australia, New Zealand and other prime meetings, Hawaiian has an extensive network over the Pacific Ocean. 

By providing its passengers with access to the internet that rivals, or even bests, their home experience, the Pacific is no longer a barrier to global connectivity.

“Significantly, the costs of this have gone down from what the early Wi-Fi systems were,” Ingram underscored while divulging that Hawaiian is “actively” installing Starlink terminals. The current target is to equip 18 of the A321 jets and 24 of its A330 aircraft with Starlink technology later this year.

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Airways to the Future

While the launch was slightly delayed due to the need to launch more next-generation Starlink satellites and secure FAA certification, Hawaiian Airlines and SpaceX are undeterred.

“To date Starlink has been used on over 30,000 flights, on flights across the U.S. and around the world,” Gibbs said, underscoring Starlink’s growth.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Hawaiian Airlines was recently acquired by Alaska Airlines in late 2022. The deal was valued at $1.9 billion. 

This move signals a future shaped by strategic partnerships. It also highlights a growing focus on the integration of advanced technology. 

Additionally, it points to a competitive landscape where customer satisfaction is paramount.

As Hawaiian Airlines’ CEO Ingram notes, “We think it is really going to set an entirely new standard for connectivity on airplanes.” Only time will tell how far this standard will take us.

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  • Susan Paige is a prolific female writer known for her insightful analyses on business news, particularly focusing on the stock market, cryptocurrency, and related topics. With a keen eye for trends and a knack for distilling complex concepts into accessible pieces, she captivates readers with her expertise and clarity.

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