SpaceX could soon get another airline customer for its Starlink satellite internet service. Frontier Airlines recently had discussions with the company about adding Starlink to its planes.
Frontier CEO Barry Biffle revealed the news during an interview with CNBC on Thursday, saying part of the reason they haven’t yet added an internet service to its planes is the prohibitive costs associated with it.
However, with Starlink entering the scene, recently announcing a deal with Hawaiian Airlines and JSX, Biffle hopes those costs will come down to a level that makes sense for his budget airline to add it.
“We’re more hopeful now that with Starlink coming in there’s going to be some rationalization of cost and pricing. When the price gets cheap enough, I’ll put it on,” Biffle said.
While Frontier has had discussions with SpaceX, Biffle said they have also spoken with other satellite internet providers and may ultimately pick a SpaceX competitor if it makes more financial sense.
Frontier Airlines is an ultra low-cost carrier with flights to over 100 destinations throughout the US and 31 international destinations.
He also added they have no timeline for when internet service may be added to their fleet, and that when it does it will come with a fee.
Hawaiian Airlines has said it plans to launch Starlink next year, and will offer the service on select routes with no additional fees.
JSX, an independent air carrier operating in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Texas and New York, will also offer complimentary Starlink service on its flights.
While these airlines are retrofitting their planes with Starlink, Canada’s De Havilland is taking a different approach. In July the company became the first aircraft manufacturer to integrate Starlink equipment into its flagship Dash 8-400 aircraft.
Existing Dash 8-400 aircraft can also be retrofitted.