When in 2019 SpaceX launched its first two prototype satellites for its own future Starlink constellation (called “TinTin A” and “TinTin B”, named after the famous comics series “The Adventures of Tintin”), nobody could have predicted that, just in a few years, SpaceX would have owned the largest satellite constellation in history. On top of that, they became a tough competitor, not only for other space internet providers but also for numerous internet service companies around the world, creating almost a monopoly that seems unbeatable right now.
They have expanded their service to a large number of areas, spacing between civilian, military, and commercial sectors. Going from land to sea, mobile to air and in the future to space itself too. Today we are gonna focus just on one of their branches which is called “Starlink Aviation”. As the word suggests, this service is focused only on aircraft, both private and civilian. Until today, there have been only a few small companies willing to embrace the risk and bet on the Starlink internet service, but as we know things move extremely rapidly nowadays.
Qatar Airways will lead the way
As happened other times, Qatar Airways leadership has always been corsages to embrace new technologies that were going to improve the quality experience during flights, but also before departure or post landing, just to cite a few. However, there was still a key missing during the flight’s customer experience: an internet connection. Until now, every customer knew that once onboard an aircraft it would have been disconnected from the world until arrival because the internet connection quality was going to be quite poor (to say at least) if not absent whatsoever.
That however is gonna change soon. Qatar Airways has decided to partner with SpaceX to integrate its own Starlink’s high-speed internet service in some specific aircraft and routes. Thanks to the extremely low latency and Wi-Fi speed of up to 350 Megabits per second, passengers are gonna enjoy even more the Qatar Airways’ 5-star onboard experience.
“Qatar Airways is proud to announce its agreement with Starlink to provide seamless and complimentary Wi-Fi to its global passengers. This exciting collaboration is not only in line with our industry-leading approach to technological adoption but also serves as an unmissable opportunity to connect Starlink to our global passengers. We look forward to our passengers benefitting from this state-of-the-art addition to Qatar Airways’ in-flight experience.”— Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive
Starlink revolutionizes inflight connectivity
Qatar Airways is just the latest and largest airline that’s gonna partner with Starlink. Some other air travel companies have done the same like: JSX Air Flight, Hawaiian Airlines, airBaltic, and ZIPAIR.
JSX Air Flight CEO Alex Wilcox stated, during a panel discussion held at the “Future Travel Experience” (FTE) in Las Vegas, that the airline will start offering Starlink service on passenger-carrying flights in October 2023.
The days when you had to be disconnected from the world while flying, or pay an astronomical amount of money for bad internet service, are almost over. In the short distant future, we are gonna be able to fly without even seeing the difference from when we are on the ground, or up through the clouds.
Making video calls, streaming a movie, or sharing whatever content, is gonna be extremely easy thanks to the high-speed internet offered by Starlink, or in the future from other companies like Amazon with its own Kuiper service, OneWeb, or others.