Air New Zealand partners with SpaceX to trial Starlink on domestic flights

Air New Zealand has announced it is partnering with SpaceX to offer free high-speed Starlink internet on its domestic flights.

The trial, scheduled for late 2024 and spanning four to six months, will see Starlink installed on both an ATR regional aircraft and a domestic jet. If successful, the service will be extended across Air New Zealand’s entire domestic fleet from 2025. Notably, the ATR will become the world’s first turboprop aircraft to provide internet access.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Digital Officer, Nikhil Ravishankar, emphasized the transformative impact of the collaboration, describing it as a “pretty big deal.” The partnership with Starlink aims to offer passengers seamless internet connectivity, enabling a range of activities from streaming video content to real-time collaboration on work-related tasks.

The new in-flight internet service will allow passengers to continue working during flights or to enjoy uninterrupted streaming of podcasts and Netflix shows. However, in compliance with Civil Aviation Authority regulations in New Zealand, real-time voice or video calls will be prohibited onboard.

While some may question the necessity of internet access on short domestic flights, Ravishankar believes there is significant demand, citing the prevalence of passengers using devices for work or entertainment. The trial will focus on domestic flights initially, with plans to assess the feasibility of expanding the service to international routes in the future.

Starlink’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation boasts lower latency and stronger signals compared to traditional geostationary satellites. The constellation, consisting of more than 5,000 satellites, allows for reliable and high-speed internet access, making it suitable for in-flight entertainment and productivity and the main reason many airlines have already signed on as customers.

Previous Article

Lucid Announces CFO Sherry House Has Resigned

Next Article

Tesla Giga Shanghai Hits New Production Record in November

You might be interested in …