De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited has become the first manufacturer to sign with SpaceX to integrate Starlink satellite internet into their aircraft.
The Mississauga-based company announced the partnership in a press release highlighting the changes to their flagship Dash 8-400 aircraft, noting that integrating the “lightweight and aerodynamic” Starlink equipment results in fuel savings that no other satellite internet service can offer.
“The Starlink antenna’s lightweight and aerodynamic form factor enable a more sustainable operation with fuel savings not capable with other legacy systems. De Havilland Canada’s work with Starlink to integrate satellite-based, in-flight Wi-Fi on an aircraft platform is the first agreement between Starlink and any OEM and highlights De Havilland Canada’s customer focus and agility as an organization.”
In addition to Starlink being integrated into the new aircraft, the company says existing Dash 8-400 planes can also be retrofitted with the new feature.
According to De Havilland, the Dash 8-400 is the highest capacity turboprop aircraft on the market. It can seat up to 90 passengers, but can be configured for other uses such as a cargo plane, firefighting aircraft, and more.
While De Havilland is the first aircraft manufacturer to integrate Starlink, two airlines have signed up to offer the satellite internet service.
Hawaiian Airlines has announced they will begin providing Starlink on their fleet of aircraft next year. JSX has also announced plans to offer complimentary Starlink WiFi on their flights in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Texas and New York.